NHS Lothian equipment sterilistation service to clean up in new awards

 CHANGES suggested by staff at NHS Lothian's Hospital Sterilisation and Decontamination Unit are paying off.


The team's ideas have been so successful the unit has now been shortlisted for a top prize, being awarded tomorrow.(17th November).

The unit is a key support service in ensuring that life-saving surgery and other operations can go head.

The unit, based at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, sterilises 7m surgical instruments a year.

Ideas suggested by staff there have produced dramatic benefits.

Working through NHS Lothian's modernisation programme Lean in Lothian, the 109-strong team made changes delivering considerable efficiency gains.

They were able to increase the numbers of trays of equipment being processed for safe reuse from 200 a day to 340 a day, a 35% increase.

They also managed to cut the amount of time taken to process trays by 30%, saving over a day on the normal time taken for equipment to be returned to theatre areas for safe reuse.

Dr Charles Swainson, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said:

"This unit is a really vital part of ensuring that surgery can be performed safely and quickly and the staff have done a fantastic job in driving improvements themselves. It's great to see their efforts being recognised in this way."

The team is shortlisted for the best independent project of the year in the inaugural Lean Healthcare Academy Awards, a UK wide event.