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Thermostats in Hospitals

Why thermostats are important

There has been a lot of discussion on the pros and cons of thermostatic mixers in hospitals. Those supporting thermostatic taps point to the reason why they were originally brought into hospitals – the need to avoid scalding and the need to have constant safe water to ensure better handwashing.

Those who question whether they are specified too often argue they are not needed in all areas, are expensive to purchase and maintain and can encourage bacteria growth.

This section aims to clarify best practice and demonstrate the new testing procedure which is quicker and less onerous than previously.

Why thermostats are important

The danger of scalding

With water temperatures in hospitals kept high – often in excess of 65°C - it is essential that vulnerable patients are protected from the dangers of scalding.

Scalding within the NHS "Never Events" framework

Events that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been taken… Thermostatic taps provide a very secure way of ensuring water is delivered at safe, reliable temperatures and if there is any interruption in supply the fitting quickly turns off.

Safe hand washing

Hand washing is such a vital element of infection control in hospitals that it is important that the facilities are there to make this as easy as possible. HTM 04-01 advises that hand washing is “best performed under running water at a safe, stable and comfortable temperature”.

Thermostatic taps ensure that water temperatures remain constant, without the user having to make any temperature control adjustments while they wash their hands. Many hospital hand washing protocols can take over a minute.

Safe hand washing

Testing made simple with the revised HTM04-01

Changes to HTM04-01 mean that the regular testing procedure for thermostats is far simpler and faster. On average it takes around 2-3 minutes to check a thermostat providing everything is working OK.


For more information

Why not download the "Safer Water Delivery in Hospitals" brochure to learn more about thermostats in hospitals


For more information