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FOI 0174 2019/20: Surgical Equipment Sterilisation

Freedom of Information Request: 0174 2019/20

    1. Is decontamination/sterilisation handled in-house or outsourced? The decontamination is outsourced and is provided at 2 “off-site” locations
    2. What is the total number of trays process on a daily/monthly/yearly basis? From April 2018 to March 2019 there were 134,974 “trays reprocessed” for Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB)  and 155,269 trays reprocessed for Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals combined (HGS). These do not include “flexible endoscopy trays” reprocessed within the Hospitals themselves or supplementary items reprocessed off-site.
    3. How much does it cost to process and deliver trays? The total cost of reprocessing reusable instrument trays for April 2018 to March 2019 for QEHB was £2,417,127 and for HGS was £2,615,491.
    4. How much time is taken fully process one tray? This is variable based on the contents or composition of the tray and the complexity of the instrumentation contained within the tray. The individual stages of the reprocessing are also variable depending on the nature of the reprocessing required (e.g. manual pre-cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning, automated washing and disinfection, sterilisation cycles required etc etc.) The times that trays are required to be returned also varies between 5 hours “fast-tracked trays” and 24 hours (normal turnaround). Some extended reprocessing of trays is also undertaken at weekends (up to 72 hours for infrequently used trays) Approximately 10% of trays are “prioritized” to be returned on the first delivery of the following daya and therefore the reprocessing time can be between 8 and 24 hours depending on when the trays are made available to the off-site reprocessing company. 
    5. How many times a day is surgical trays collected and processed? During weekdays, Trays are collected 5 times per day from the Q.E Hospital, 6 times a day at Heartlands Hospital and 4 times per day at Solihull and Good Hope Hospitals. During the weekends trays are collected 3 times per day at the QE & Heartlands Hospitals on Saturdays and 2 times per day at Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals. On Sundays there are 3 collection at  the QE, 2 at Heartlands and Good Hope and 1 at Solihull.
    6. How many individual instruments are cleaned? The Trust does hold the information you have requested, however we estimate that compliance with your request would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act 2000. This is currently £450 and relates to the cost of obtaining and analysing data held in various locations.
    7. How many times can an individual instrument be reused? Instruments that can be reprocessed and reused have variable “life-times”. This can depend on the wear and tear associated with use. Some instruments are in use for more than 20 years. Some instruments are subject to maintenance and servicing agreements with the original equipment manufacturers and others are subject to repair or refurbishment on an as needs basis.
    8. What are the different surgical tray dimensions? QEHB 480x250x60mm 240x250x60mm  120x250x60mm  480x480mm  480x360mm from small blue poly trays to large customized containment. HGS – Wide range of containers used ranging from 15x20cm to 46x46cm with varying depths
    9.  What is the cost of the surgical equipment? The Trust does hold the information you have requested, however we estimate that compliance with your request would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act 2000. This is currently £450 and relates to the cost of obtaining and analysing data held in various locations
    10. How much staff is required to process surgical trays? We do not hold this information. However we can tell you that the “off-site” provider employs approximately 220 staff. It should be noted however, that they also reprocess instrumentation for other local NHS organisations as well as for private sector healthcare organisations within this headcount

 

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