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GP surgeries call design experts to keep staff and patients safe

DESIGN and furniture experts are helping keep patients and staff safe at three doctors surgeries in Cumbria.


Ghyll House Upholstery and Design, based at Mealsgate, near Cockermouth, is working with three GP practices to update waiting rooms with easy-to-clean furniture.


Castlehead Medical Centre in Keswick, Silloth Group Medical Practice, and The Croft Surgery, Kirkbride have all been proactive in working with Ghyll House to redesign their patient areas.

From left: Chloe O’Neil, Health Care Assistant; Dr Clare Haslam; Amy Kelland, Wellbeing Coach

Ghyll House general manager Joe McAlpine said: “We are working with all the surgeries to provide cost-effective solutions for them, including specialist fast-acting, effective and durable antimicrobial fabrics and vinyls, proven to be effective against coronavirus.”


Catherine Penrice, practice manager at Castlehead Medical Centre, said the practice took the opportunity of being quieter during lockdown to revamp its waiting area.


Catherine said: “We had been wanting to do it for a while. So while it was quiet and people weren’t coming in we thought let’s crack on and do the work.


“Joe McAlpine at Ghyll House has been brilliant. The service has been great. They have always come when they said they would and they have done an excellent job.

“They have taken all the seating away and recovered it and refitted it. There was some material left over so they even recovered some free-standing chairs as well. It all looks really good. They have been great to deal with.”


Castlehead is one of seven GP practices in the Keswick and Solway Primary Care Network with the others in Wigton, Aspatria, Kirkbride, Caldbeck, Dalston and Silloth.


Catherine, who is operations manager for the network, has been so pleased with Ghyll House’s work at Keswick that she’s recommended the business to others in the group.


Ghyll House Is now busy recovering seats at the Silloth practice and fitted seating at Kirkbride, all with an antimicrobial material which is easy to clean as part of the surgeries’ sanitisation programmes to make sure their environments are safe for patients and staff alike.


Joe McAlpine said: “At Castlehead, we took out the fixed seating, replaced the cloth with an antimicrobial material which is easy to clean, and refitted it all again.

Joe McAlpine

“We are finding a lot of businesses, whether that’s doctor’s surgeries, hair salons, gyms or restaurants, anywhere where the general public is going post lockdown, are requiring these types of changes to be made.


“We are happy to work to their brief, which might be recovering furniture with these antimicrobial materials, replacing furniture or redesigning their spaces with social distancing in mind.


“We are happy to help any businesses to adapt in a way which works best for them, their staff and their visitors so they can maximise their business while at the same time keeping everyone safe.


“We work best where the customer shares with us details of the space and the issues they have, including how the flow of people will work in that space given social distancing regulations, and we redesign the space for them to meet their requirements.


“We know that finances are going to be an issue for many of these businesses who are faced with redesigns at a time when they have been hit hard by the economic impact of coronavirus.


“Our solutions are focused on being cost-effective and value for money while also ensuring everything is designed with the safety of staff and customers in mind.”


As part of parent company Eco’s support to businesses, Ghyll House is also able to offer its customers access to a full sanitisation service for any premises.


Eco has earned praise during lockdown for delivering one million items of PPE to UK care homes within seven days and keeping a factory which makes material for NHS visors operating 24/7 with its sanitisation solution services.


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