The sterile services department deals with the decontamination of surgical instruments within the trust.
This department plays a key role in maintaining theatre efficiency on both sites. Instrumentation is sanitised in line with regulatory requirements and made available to surgeons in theatre in a timely manner.
The department is staffed 24 hours a day seven days a week. We have around 60 staff working in the department working a variety of shifts.
The department consists of three main areas:
An area where dirty and contaminated equipment is brought to the department to be counted, and prepared for the washing process, the equipment goes into a large automated washer and is cleaned and disinfected.
Sets and instruments then leave the washer into the clean room, where it is once again counted and checked for functionability and any dirty or faulty equipment is removed and reprocessed or sent away for repair.
It is wrapped and packed in clean air conditions and sent through to the autoclave room for sterilisation. Once the sterilisation is complete the equipment packaging is quality checked before we send it out within the hospital.
We at sterile services and the vocational training teams at James Cook are pioneering a decontamination training programme which will make its staff among the best qualified in the country.