HTM 71 – All You Need to Know

HTM 71

A strong and durable storage system is essential for storing medical sundries and equipment, and for efficient stock management in any healthcare facility.

What is HTM 71?

HTM 71 stands for Health Technical Memorandum 71 and is a comprehensive guide on the design, installation and operation of furniture and equipment used in the healthcare sectors. NHS Estates publishes the HTM 71 guidance and recommends the use of modular storage systems, which include trays, baskets, trolleys and cupboards to improve workflow, speed, safety and hygiene. HTM 71 storage is widely recognised as the best solution for a medical environment due to its ease of use and optimum utilisation of space.

At Benchmark, we offer healthcare storage solutions that will exceed your expectations. We do so by using only high-quality components, compatible with ISO standards and fully integrated to HTM 63 and 71 requirements. Featuring sloping tops, glass or laminate doors, suited locks and fittings, and robust storage bins, trays and tray dividers, our storage systems have been designed to withstand the high demands of a medical environment.

HTM 71

Who uses HTM 71?

HTM 71 units are used in many healthcare establishments including hospitals, doctors surgeries, general practitioners’ offices, pharmacies, and health centres. It is the healthcare provider’s duty of care to provide a suitable storage system where medical supplies can be stored. For further information on government guidelines in healthcare building design, also refer to the relevant sections included in the Health Building Notes.

Due to financial constraints, many care providers choose to implement the cheapest option without taking into consideration the long-term issues. To help improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the healthcare system a storage solution that is HTM 71 compatible is key.

What’s the difference between HTM 63 and 71?

HTM 63 furniture provides a static solution that is fixed in place. Products are taken from one storage unit, moved to where they are needed, and put on another fixed storage unit. Transporting goods several times a day in this fashion can increase the risk of contamination, damage and items getting lost.

HTM 71 storage can speed up deliveries between departments as it allows products to be placed in the tray, which can then be easily relocated to where it’s needed. These storage systems can also reduce the number of times the item is handled, greatly reducing the risk of contamination and damage.

Why is HTM71 Storage important?

A well-organised healthcare environment is about everything being in the right place at the right time and easily accessible. If staff cannot find what they are looking for then valuable time is lost.

This scenario has two costs.

Firstly and most importantly, for individual patients waiting on care, the ability for care staff to retrieve items as quickly and efficiently as possible is paramount. Limiting this efficiency with poorly organised storage can lead to a delay in care which, at best, may give patients a poor impression of the hospital or, at worst, may actually pose a danger to life.

The second cost is financial. Whilst efficiency is required across all departments in healthcare, it is perhaps most importantly in operating theatres. Average theatre costs per hour vary but can be as much as £1,200 per hour. Minutes lost due to nursing staff having to search for equipment amongst disorganised and untidy storage solutions soon outweighs the cost of choosing cheap hospital furniture and storage solutions.

In addition, HTM 71 storage units, cabinets and trays are also designed to allow staff to easily audit the stock available. The clear tray systems give constant visibility on stock levels thus greatly minimising overstocking and wastage through consumables reaching their expiry date.

We’ve worked on many projects installing FF&E within the healthcare industry over the years and can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to designing, manufacturing and installing products. Our healthcare furniture is made in our own UK factory, meaning we have the capability to create innovative, bespoke solutions that are both HTM 63 & 71 compliant.

Benchmark have installed HTM 71 tray systems to a number of large healthcare projects to date, including the Celtic Springs Rutherford Cancer Centre, in Newport – the UK’s first proton beam cancer treatment centre. Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and Luton & Dunstable Hospital, Bedfordshire. In addition, we have supported contractors and end users on many other smaller projects throughout the UK including the Reydon Healthy Living Centre Suffolk.

HTM 71

Why should architects consider HTM 71?

Great importance is placed on the physical environment of healthcare buildings. Issues such as patient safety, functionality, energy efficiency, resource consumption and user satisfaction are all things architects need to consider.

Improving the healthcare environment is a necessity, which includes the medical equipment facilities. HTM 71 is a practical solution that provides a safe system with maximum flexibility for the user, where equipment is organised and easily accessible.

Utilising the HTM71 storage system, as an architect, you can also demonstrate a clear understanding of maximising storage capacity for the least amount of floor space footprint. This is particularly important in utility and consulting rooms where space is often limited and a good level of supplies is critical.

How do Benchmark fulfil your HTM71 requirements?

Our aim is to turn your vision into a reality. By working closely with clients, contractors and architects our team can transform your room into a functional and efficient workspace, achieving the best workable solution.

All Benchmark HTM71 storage systems are set up and installed in-house, ensuring reduction of on-site operations and installation time on site, whilst making sure all fittings and associated items are fitted correctly, and to the high standard required in all healthcare environments. . Our systems are modelled on a ‘system build’ modular construction technique. All our processes are also rigorously assessed to maximise energy efficiency and minimise waste.

Many of our installers have years of experience and their attention to detail is meticulous. They have fitted hundreds of bespoke furniture and storage solutions for us and are adept at installing projects smoothly, efficiently and most importantly on time, so facilities are up and running again in the shortest time possible.

HTM 71

For HTM 71 compliant solutions contact us today on 01953 889 603 or send us an email to Should you require samples or finishes for review or testing, please get in touch. Alternatively for our standard colour range please visit our visualiser tool to match and contrast a colour scheme of your choice.

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Bio of Author


This article was written by Dean Fryer, Estimator at Benchmark FF&E Solutions since 2012.
Passionate about collaboration between sub-contractors on site and a demonstrated history in assisting building contractors and architects with producing comprehensive and definitive schedules at pre-tender and pre-contract stage, Dean is an invaluable asset to Benchmark Products and contributes towards the end goal of perfect delivery every time.