Condition category
Infections and Infestations
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Most UK hospitals do not have enough single rooms to isolate all infected patients. The aim of this study was to test the acceptability of temporary isolation rooms on general wards together with specifically designed portable sink units and toilets.

Who can participate?
Patients over the age of 18 who were admitted and who required isolation, but for whom no single room was available, could participate in this study.

What does the study involve?
A total of 53 patients were isolated, environmental samples were collected and staff hand hygiene was assessed. Questionnaires were offered to staff, patients and visitors covering ease of use and acceptability.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The possible benefits were protection of other patients or themselves from infection spread. The disadvantage was separation from other patients and a restricted environment.

Where is the study run from?
University College London Hospital (London, UK).

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study ran for 6 months in 2009.

Who is funding the study?
The study was funded by the Health HCAI Technology Innovation Programme.

Who is the main contact?
Prof Peter Wilson

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Prof Andrew Peter R Wilson


Contact details

UCL Immunology and Molecular Pathology
Windeyer Building
46 Cleveland Street
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

A single centre non-randomised interventional trial of the acceptability of three main designs of a temporary isolation facility in order to prevent the spread of infection in a ward


Smart Ideas

Study hypothesis

Most UK hospitals lack sufficient single room accommodation to provide source isolation for all patients infected or colonised with multi-resistant organisms. Low risk carriers of MRSA are nursed on open wards or in cohorts that are rarely enforced sufficiently strictly to be effective. A means of providing temporary contact and airborne isolation in the general ward could be an effective means of reducing transmission in wards with a high prevalence of infection. A temporary isolation facility was designed by a multiprofessional committee. Full scale models were prepared, discussed and modified in an empty ward before working prototypes were produced. The purpose of this study was to assess the acceptability of three main designs to staff and patients and to determine ways in which design could be improved. The study was not powered to determine efficacy in preventing spread.

Ethics approval

Camden & Islington Community Local Research Ethics Committee approved on the 27Th October 2008 (ref: 08/H0722/89)

Study design

Single centre non-randomised interventional process of care trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Non randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Topic: Infection; Subtopic: Infection (all Subtopics); Disease: Infectious diseases and microbiology


The study was performed in wards at University College Hospital using 4 - 6 prototypes of a temporary isolation unit (TIU), LCD glass screens and plastic screens (KwickScreens). The TIU provided some airborne isolation and incorporated a fabric ceiling and HEPA filtered air blown across the entrance. All three systems provided barriers with respect to adjacent beds. Portable sinks were supplied for use with all TIU and some of the other systems. Portable toilets were provided for use with the TIU.

There was no follow up following discharge from the ward as this was only a pilot in use assessment.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Patient acceptability of each system was assessed by questionnaire after 3 days use. A five point Likert scale was used.

Secondary outcome measures

No secondary outcome measures

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

All patients over the age of 18 who were admitted and who required isolation, but for whom no single room was available. Patients could be withdrawn from the study if patient care was affected.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

Planned sample size: 53; UK sample size: 53

Participant exclusion criteria

Does not meet inclusion criteria

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

UCL Immunology and Molecular Pathology
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UK)

Sponsor details

UCL Immunology and Molecular Pathology
Windeyer Building
46 Cleveland Street
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (UK) - HCAI Technology Innovation Programme

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2010 results in

Publication citations

  1. Results

    Moore G, Ali S, FitzGerald G, Muzslay M, Atkinson S, Smith S, Cryer P, Gush C, , Wilson AP, Ward assessment of SmartIdeas Project: bringing source isolation to the patient., J. Hosp. Infect., 2010, 76, 2, 103-107, doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2010.04.017.

Additional files

Editorial Notes