The modern brand new ‘state of the art’ Sterilization and Disinfection Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital is expected to be operational by the end of May 2010. The unit will process all re-usable medical devices and instrument sets used by Theatres and Departments to ensure that they are clean and sterile to the highest standard. The new unit will replace the existing smaller unit at St. Mary’s which has been in use since 1991.
Following a national drive for large ‘super centre’ units serving several hospitals, the Isle of Wight was identified as a unique healthcare organisation due to its geography, leaving the Island’s NHS to develop services locally within our own resources. The Trust has invested £4.5m in developing the best unit possible for Island patients.
The unit is fully equipped to ensure all instruments can be processed to the highest standard, with the capacity to provide an Island wide service for GPs, health clinics and other services. With a computerised traceability system to link every instrument set to both the processing and the surgery performed for each patient the ability to audit exactly where an instrument has been, who it was used on and the cleaning process has been greatly improved.
Hilary Male, HSDU Manager says: “We are in the process of working with the contractors to finalise this major project. All the key equipment and plant are installed and being tested. The new facility will substantially improve the environment for HSDU staff and is key to ensuring that the safety of the medical devices and instruments is maintained for patients.”
All instrument sets have an instrument check list with photographs of each set, and the HSDU staff inspect every instrument at the washing and packing stage to make sure every safety precaution is taken at every step in the process.
There will be an opportunity for everyone to see the new building and how the unit plays it’s part in protecting patients from hospital acquired infections on Thursday 6th May. The new facility will be open to NHS staff on Thursday 6th May between 12.00 midday and 6.00p.m. There will also an opportunity for Islanders (and any staff with their families) who could not visit earlier to visit between 6.00p.m. and 8.00p.m. on the same day.
Those interested in visiting during the second period should ring Hilary Male on 01983-552250 (answerphone) or e-mail email@example.com and indicate their preferred time – 6.00p.m., 6.30p.m., 7.00p.m. or 7.30p.m. Some of the 22 staff who work in the HSDU will be present to show people around and explain the processes. Further opportunities to visit the facility will be available later in 2010.
On Friday 7th May the new unit will be ‘deep cleaned’ to create the sterile environment required for this important safety critical area. The Unit then has to be left for two weeks and environmentally tested before it can be commissioned and operational.