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Nwicker60
11-Apr-13, 10:14
£560,000 will ensure surgical instruments are fit for purpose

THE unit in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, which decontaminates surgical and medical instruments after use, has been given a £560,000 boost.
The investment has been spent on five new washer disinfectors – key components in the rigorous process of ensuring that equipment used mainly in theatres but also in wards and clinics is clean and safe for reuse.
The new, state-of-the-art equipment washes, disinfects and dries instruments to the very highest standards, and replace 11-year-old machines that had outlived their life expectancy.
Controlled by micro-processors, the equipment is contained within the wash room in the Central Decontamination Unit, which handles around 2.7 million instruments every year.
Anne Cosh, NHS Highland’s head of decontamination, said: “Our new washer disinfectors represent a significant investment in patient safety. They are impressive, highly efficient machines which provide a vital part of the process in what is a very busy unit. What’s more, it does so in just 36 minutes per cycle – considerably quicker than was achieved with the previous equipment.”
Raigmore’s Central Decontamination Unit serves all NHS Highland’s area except Argyll and Bute, as well as Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin, and every year handles around 60,000 tray sets – each containing the surgical equipment necessary for individual procedures in a range of specialities – and a further 100,000 supplementary packs.
With every stage of the washing and disinfecting process validated to an exacting degree, the unit records an average pass rate of 99.98 per cent – and last month (March) it was 100 per cent.
Ms Cosh added: "These are excellent results given the human element involved in most stages of the process,” said Anne Cosh.
We have a motivated, highly trained staff who are dedicated to ensuring that the instruments which leave the unit are as safe as they possibly can be. Our new equipment – the very latest technology available for thermal washing and disinfecting medical devices¨ – will help us to continue to achieve that.”
The washer disinfectors cost £460,000, and a further £100,000 was spent on ancillary improvements, such as protective guards and new flooring.