Midland Met Artist Impression

Midland Met Hospital – Curtain Hopper

The Edward Williams Architects-designed Midland Metropolitan University Hospital, in Smethwick, was due to open in 2018 but due to collapse of Carillion in 2018, the 670-bed hospital is now expected to open in 2022, four years behind schedule. As the new contractor, Balfour Beatty will finally complete the project with the new hospital providing about 670 beds, 15 operating theatre suites and offering maternity, children’s and inpatient adult facilities to around half a million people.

The project includes a fully enclosed winter garden and internal car parking on the ground and first floors to create a secure environment for both patients, visitors, and staff. This new facility will take some services from Sandwell and City hospitals.

Innova’s Expertise

Innova Care Concepts were engaged to solve the challenge of making every ward in the hospital into a totally accessible and suitable space for patients, allowing the medical team to move patients more independently and safely, putting no additional pressure on any staff member.

The internal layout of the wards had been designed using a H-system covering 2 bed bays side by side, so the hoist and track could go anywhere. The H frame gives maximum coverage of the bed bays and maintains the flexibility of a manual traversing movement within the bed bay area.

However, the individual privacy cubicle or hospital curtains had to be accommodated for and the track had to have some way of allowing for the curtain rail without any impact on a smooth patient transit.

So, the original thinkers at Innova sprang into action, knowing the external pressures of keeping costs down and the difference innovation can make to projects of this size. The challenge to solve was allowing the overhead hoist to have some way of ‘jumping over’ the individual privacy curtain tracks.

First Fix Midland Met
1st Fix stage of the Innova Install team at the Midland Metropolitan Hospital

And so, the ‘AirGlide360® Curtain Hopper’ was born.

To provide the flexibility needed, we utilised our versatile AirGlide360® Ceiling Track & AirRise® Ceiling Hoist in a H-frame configuration that covers the 2 bed bays which is divided by the privacy hospital/cubicle curtain. The hoist is operated in a manual traverse in the individual bed bay, giving the nursing staff greater ease and flexibility to move the hoist around the bay to suit patient needs.

The electric traverse trolley in the hoist unit is then controlled by a central switch in between the bays, enabling it to be powered over the curtain track as and when required by the nursing staff.

Curtain Hopper

The design and product placement in an installation like this is always very important. The users’ needs and requirements really need to be taken into consideration to ensure the system provides independence and flexibility as movement is vital in terms of rehabilitation and getting patients up and about for faster discharge.

The AirGlide360® Track System

Offering a choice of 90° curves, 60° curves, 45° curves, 30° curves, 15° curves and Straight Track, the AirGlide360® Track System is available in varying depths suitable for supporting different lengths of track.

The AirRise® Ceiling Hoist is available permanently attached or as a portable hoist unit, which is compact and quiet, and comes in a wide range of weight limits to fully support patient transfer whilst remaining unobtrusive.

The key to success with this particular project has been accommodating the need for individual privacy cubicle curtains in each ward whilst still offering quick and safe patient transfer.

Our involvement at each stage, from design through to installation, was vital to the success of integrating the ceiling track system into the hospital without disrupting any other functions, and providing a quick and dignified transfer for patients.

We worked closely with the main contractors on the project, to complete internal works and adaptations in tandem with the installation and with being brought on board from an early stage, this ensured that no unforeseen challenges were presented, and innovation was allowed to ferment.

It is always our pleasure to assist in UK healthcare projects like being part of the very first hospital build of the HIP scheme.

Turnkey provider from assessment to installation and servicing

  • Dedicated Design department to assist with drawings
  • UK Project Management
  • Complete range of transfer and care products
  • Unique non-intrusive ceiling hoist with an option of automatic turntable

Read more about all our Overhead Ceiling Track Solutions by visiting: