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Right Arrow ospital staff clean up with international award
15 February 2013 at 14:37
Patients at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals are continuing to benefit from world-class standard of instrument decontamination, the Trust can reveal.

A three-day inspection of the Sterile Services Department at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust by independent specialists Intertek found staff were meeting the highest possible standards for the decontaminating surgical instruments and medical devices.

The department, based at Southport and Formby District General Hospital, supplies departments across both hospitals as well as several external customers.

Accreditation to ISO (International Standards Organisation) is the highest possible standard and the global standard required for the provision of this service.

Decontamination manager Robbie Cormie said: “Inspections don’t get much tougher than this and it is the third year running we have met ISO’s exacting standards.

“The award is a tribute to Debbie Gough and her team of 14 who work seven-days-a-week producing 4,000 sterile instrument sets and other sterile medical items a month.”

The Sterile Services Department was refitted at a cost of £1.2m in 2010 and benefits from the very latest technology.

Chief Executive Jonathan Parry said: “Some organisations choose to outsource these services which can result in a loss of control over quality.

“As this inspection shows, our patients can be sure all our equipment is thoroughly cleaned and sterilised and checked at every stage to meet our extremely high standards and the requirements of Care Quality Commission and other regulatory and technical and standards.”

Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Telephone 01704 704494

Notes for editors

1. Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust manages Southport and Formby District General Hospital and Ormskirk and District General Hospital. It is also responsible for many community healthcare services for adults in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire. The Trust provides healthcare to a population of 258,000 people and employs 3,500 staff.

2. The washer-disinfector machines used in the Sterile Services Department use special alkaline detergent and ultra-clean water and heat the instruments up to 93C before drying them at 110C.

After the initial wash, staff reassemble and check the instruments. They are then packed and sterilised at 135C using steam which, due to the properties of the special packing materials used, keeps them sterile until they are needed again.

The room where the instruments are packed is cleaner than an operating theatre, exceeding the British and European standards for the manufacturing of medical devices. In order to achieve this, staff wear specially laundered clothing and every aspect of the room is continuously monitored to ensure that it stays exceptionally clean.

Each process in the department is computer-controlled and every cycle is archived to the hospital computer network. Each set of instruments can then be tracked to individual patients.

3. Picture shows department supervisor Debbie Gough (right) and colleagues with their ISO certificate.