Despite increased sterilisation and education campaigns, hospital acquired infections have not been eradicated. Bacterial colonisation of frequent touch surfaces is key in the transmission of infection. Most current technologies cannot provide a material which can rapidly kill bacteria. Here we report a novel surface technology, which uses synthetic mimetics of human defensin proteins on a surface. The surface shows excellent antibacterial efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Enterococcus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. Both microbiology laboratory tests and trials in hospital settings of this new antimicrobial material (AMS) showed >99% efficacy over a year in situ. It maintains its efficacy through accelerated ageing tests and has shown to kill bacteria far more rapidly (45 min) than the commercially available technologies (24 h).