Southampton’S infection-busting weapons are winning the battle against the bugs and are being rolled out across the country.

When it comes to the war against hospital bugs, Southampton General Hospital is leading the way with four new bedside furniture designs that help prevent potentially deadly infections.

University Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHSFT) trialled the revolutionary prototypes, including a 21st century commode, which have proved such a success that they will be adopted by NHS hospitals throughout the UK.

Other pieces of innovative furniture to fight the bugs were an over-bed table, a “unique” patient chair and a new bedside cabinet.

The news comes just days after the hospital revealed improving signage, information and building layouts was helping to defuse potential violent attacks on staff before they happen.

This latest achievement with the Design Bugs Out project, was also led by the Design Council in conjunction with the Department of Health.

All four furniture items proved easier to clean, 90 per cent of patients thought the commode looked good and found it easy to use and 91 per cent were in favour of the new over-bed table design.

The cabinet also got a high rating with 77 per cent of patients praising its sturdiness, durability and appearance, while 91 per cent found the chair clean, comfortable, safe and supportive.

M a r y O’Leary, infection prevention sister and showcase hospitals lead in Southampton, said: “The Design Bugs Out project highlights how frontline NHS staff can contribute to the design and production process in order to develop innovative and successful products within a limited timeframe to enhance the fight against infection and improve patients’ experiences and we look forward to similar projects in the future.”

UHSFT is one of eight national showcase hospitals responsible for evaluating new technologies in a clinical environment.

Health minister Simon Burns added: “These four innovative and user-friendly furniture designs – now available for hospitals to buy – provide additional ways to help to reduce these infections.

“They will make it easier for staff to keep wards cleaner and help combat the spread of infections. This means keeping patients healthier, as well as saving the NHS money in the long term.”