Here is a Collection of Milestones in the History of MSR
First visit to Romania 1990
During this first visit 3 van-loads of supplies were driven by 6 aid novices. Six institutions were visited, the last of which was Salaj District Hospital in Zalau. £35,000 was raised.
Transfer of Knowledge Project Bucharest November 1995
The British Council scheduled a week of meetings with the Ministry of Health, at Medical Institutes and leading University Hospitals. The MSR team visited the Institute of Public Health and met Dr Anca Dumitrescu whose hospital hygiene team was the target group of MSR’s Transfer of Knowledge Project which covers sterile services, laundry and hospital waste disposal. The first two modules took place in 1998. Subsequently, three Ministers of Health have written endorsing & supporting MSR’s work.
After the 1994 closure of the paediatric X-ray room, MSR installed 7 X-ray units. The hospital X-ray engineer worked closely with MSR’s engineer and dealt successfully with Bucharest to gain the necessary authorisations. X-ray capability was installed in A&E for the first time. Coupled with 2 new government-supplied units, the radiation physicist from Cluj said that the department now delivered 7 times less dose than the norm in Transylvania. MSR has also supplied vital accessories, including a set of uniform film cassettes without which the government-supplied automatic processor could not function properly.
In 1995, during the equipment installation period, a British radiographer spent 5 months in the X-ray department training staff. Some inappropriate nationally-taught standards were corrected. She was well qualified to be on the staff of the MSR-funded (£25,000) 3-week Update in Imaging training course in October 1995 at Cranfield University’s Oxford Centre for Radiographic Studies, which was attended by 12 radiographers, radiologists, radiation physicists & X-ray engineers from across Romania, including three from Salaj Hospital. The course was run by Brian Mansfield, Imaging Consultant with the Medical Devices Agency. There are frequent visits to Salaj Hospital by radiologists and radiographers. The report by Mr Mansfield from his first visit to Salaj Hospital in May 2001 interested the Minister of Health. In May 2002, Brian Mansfield was accompanied by Michael Fitzgerald, the Director of the Radiation Protection Centre based at St. George’s Hospital.
State-of-the-art microscopes, a new Elga water purifier, a new £17,000 Abbott blood cell counter, a new Chiron Lithium analyser, 2 AVL electrolyte analysers, an ELISA and 2 Cobas MIRA analysers, amongst other lab equipment, both basic and sophisticated, enable accurate results. Previously, because of the bad results, the doctors did not respect the laboratory. Now laboratory tests are generally trusted and diagnosis within the hospital is greatly improved. The first hospital staff to come to the UK for training were two female laboratory technicians.
A new teaching microscope with camera & video attachment in the pathology department has enabled the Pathologist to hold regular clinical meetings. The first visit to the pathology department by senior laboratory scientists from Addenbrooke’s was in 1993, with follow-up visits almost every year since. In 1997, the department was completely re-equipped by MSR. The hospital refurbished the department, altered the circulation and, for the first time, built a chapel for relatives. It is possibly the only mortuary in Romania to have been upgraded in this way. The hospital is now seen as having one of the best equipped pathology departments in Romania which is why the 1998 Romanian National Pathology Meeting was held there. The motivated and skilled pathologist, Dr Liliana Neaga, has twice visited the UK for training, and in 1998 attended a cytology training course in Oxford. In October 2001, a unique, purpose designed, Rotary-funded forensic autopsy ambulance was delivered. This has revolutionised village autopsies, hitherto habitually performed in the homes of the deceased.
In January 1998 MSR was asked to assist the laundry of the 1100 bed hospital, which was on the point of final collapse. In September 1998 MSR re-equipped the entire laundry with refurbished equipment at a cost of £27,000. The installation was supervised by 3 men from Cambridge - a civil engineer, along with the Addenbrooke’s Laundry & Maintenance Managers. The pipe-work, wiring and power tools needed were all brought from the UK. These tools now enhance the capability of the hospital maintenance team. In May 1999, the Maintenance Manager followed up with Planned Preventative Maintenance training.
“For many years this department was a dangerous problem for the functionality of this hospital as regards safety & health procedures for laundry staff, infection control and cross infection and even financially because the maintenance of the very old laundry equipment was costing the hospital a huge amount of money without solving the problem. Since the new laundry equipment was installed all these problems have been solved and it is absolutely incredible for us (medical, laundry, maintenance staff and directors) not to have those interminable crisis situations. In these good working conditions the staff are very pleased and motivated to achieve good results. Now the laundry is considered as a good job that is desired by everybody and not as a punishment job.” Marta Payer, Nursing Director
The collaboration of the Bucharest Institute of Public Health lead to new national laundry regulations.
The project was fully funded due to a single £350,000 grant. New Spanish sterilisers & 2 Fulton gas-fired steam boilers in a Prefabricated Plant Room were installed. The British Ambassador inaugurated the Project, in 2007 which became operational later that year. Now fully functional, with ongoing support by MSR, Addenbrooke’s staff & other sterile services specialists.
Sterilization Conference, May 2010
In May 2010 Zalau Emergency Hospital organised the first ever national Sterile Services conference to which 180 participants attended - medical doctors, nurses, managers - from all over Romania. The Conference Resolution mentions, inter alia, the appreciation of participants for the collaboration between Zalau County Hospital and CSSD team at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge; developing such partnerships with other hospitals in UK was seen as beneficial.