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Robots ready to run at Glasgow hospital

The New South Glasgow Hospitals Campus will in the very near future have much of its deliveries of equipment and goods performed by a team of robots.

The first of 22 new robots have been ordered for use on the New South Glasgow Hospitals Campus.

The robots or automated guided vehicles (AGVs) will move the vast majority of goods around the new hospital complex once it’s open via a subterranean tunnel providing a safer system of working for staff and at the same time reducing the risk ofmoving and handling injuries.

The contract for the 22 new robots from Swisslog, a global provider of integrated logistics solutions, comes after the recent signing of the world’s most advanced contract in laboratory equipment for the new hospital’s ‘super lab’ which will open its doors this spring.

NHS Greater and Clyde chief executive Robert Calderwood said: “I am delighted with the pace at which the New South Glasgow Hospitals project is developing, on time and on budget. This first order of the ‘robots’ further demonstrates this is a modern state-of-the-art building designed to be the very best it can be.”

A key request from hospital facilities was to have an efficient system in place to help move around a variety of equipment and goods whether it be clean and dirty laundry to medication from the pharmacy to catering. The sheer size of the New South Glasgow Hospitals Complex means having an automated system in place means we can move goods around the hospitals and labs easily and quickly.

The robots will use dedicated lifts, which are separated for clean and dirty goods andwill travel in non public corridors. Described as “safe and people friendly”, the robots will help deliver a variety of equipment and goods to wards and departments.

These 22 robots will be essential in helping to meet all the logistical demands of running a busy hospital complex and free up portering and facilities staff for other duties.

The AGVs are part of the £842m New South Glasgow Hospitals Campus project, which is on track to be delivered on time and on or under budget.

The full project of a new adult, new children’s hospital and new lab will be complete in 2015 and aims to provide “the ultimate gold-standard of healthcare”, with acute adult, paediatric and maternity service located together for the first time in Glasgow.

The new 14-floor adult hospital will have 1,109 beds and will be 166,000 square metres in size.