UK hospitals open new decontamination facility
Sir Bruce Keogh (centre) and Adrian Coward unveil the plaque
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Synergy Health (UK), a leading provider of specialist outsourced services to healthcare providers, have officially opened a multi-million pound 'super-centre' for decontaminating surgical instruments.
The facility, formally opened by NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh at Meridian Business Park, Leicester, will enable the Trust to streamline this critical sterile service, further enhance the quality of sterile instrument output and benefit from new revenue streams.
As part of the Department of Health's National Decontamination Project, Trusts around the country have been working to find solutions to ageing, non-compliant decontamination facilities, which are a critical link in the surgical pathway.
Synergy Health was selected by Leicester’s Hospitals as its partner to create a state-of-the-art sterile service and decontamination service and invested £3.5m (€4bn) to create the decontamination super-centre.
The fully accredited centre is now serving the Trust’s three hospitals: Glenfield, Leicester General and Leicester Royal Infirmary. It will eventually accommodate the additional instrument decontamination requirements of neighbouring PCTs, GPs and dentists.
The new facility adopts a joint venture approach: this means the Trust retains control of its service but is reassured by full operational compliance, able to free up ageing estate, make quality and productivity improvements to the supply chain feeding the surgical pathway, and transfer risk and the associated facilities management burden to its partner.
Some 60 former highly-skilled NHS employees have been transferred to the new facility and are continuing ‘business as usual’ but in a much enhanced environment while at the same time contributing to a new income stream for the Trust.
Neil Doverty, divisional manager for clinical support at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “This is an excellent – and timely – example of the public and private sectors working together towards the best possible outcomes for patients’ safety and for the surgeons and clinical support staff who rely on safe and efficient surgical equipment in order to do their work.”
The 16,000ft2 facility complies with the Medical Device Directive and stringent international standards and is already serving the Trust’s multiple-site theatre demands after a staged transfer process. It employs track-and-trace technology to ensure millions of items of surgical equipment are collected, decontaminated, sterilised, packed and returned to the correct client on time.
Synergy Health’s ceo UK and Ireland, Adrian Coward said: “We are seeing Trusts around the country looking to streamline costs, increase quality and productivity and - most importantly – achieve compliance. Leicester’s Hospitals are to be congratulated for working towards an innovative and beneficial solution across a number of critical indicators.
“Harnessing the latest technologies and procedures, this flagship centre will play a key role in providing cost-effective solutions to the NHS at a time when it is under huge pressure to make savings.”
Synergy Health has included a number of technology features at the premises including: waste heat recovery, a sophisticated air handling system, and energy-efficient compressors and lighting.
Synergy Health is the largest provider of outsourced decontamination services in Europe with 19 facilities across the UK and further facilities in Belgium, Netherlands and China.
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