Published on July 21, 2012 at 3:54 AM
He applied ultraviolet-sensitive gel to the bag's surfaces to evaluate how design features inhibited or aided hand cleaning. Any areas missed were made visible when illuminated by a UV torch.
Swann also ran Lego Serious Play workshops - where participants work through imaginary scenarios using 3-D Lego brick models - for nurses and specialists to simulate daily practice and tailor the design accordingly.
He hopes a design focused on infection control highlights to health policymakers the need for a cleanliness standard that governs the use of medical bags by doctors and nurses in the community. At present the only standard in force regulates paramedic bags.
"We must take all available measures to preserve patient safety. Without clear guidelines on medical bags we are letting communities down," he said.
The design is part of a wider research partnership between the University of Huddersfield and NHS East Riding of Yorkshire (NHS ERY) called NHS at Home.
In 2008, NHS ERY introduced the first of its Neighbourhood Care Teams (NCT) to enable patients with long-term illnesses to receive treatment at home. NCTs now provide over 450,000 patient contacts each year.
NHS ERY's Director of Quality and Professional Services Dr Kate Ireland said: "Neighbourhood Care Teams are our flagship service. The new nursing bag design offers the prospect of enhancing quality of care through the provision of an improved treatment space for patients whatever the patients' environment.
Jo Gaunt, NHS ERY's Director of Innovation and Design, added: "This exciting and innovative initiative has the potential for rapid spread and adoption across East Riding and beyond."