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November 30, 2005 3:21 PM

NHS Greater Glasgow was delighted today to welcome the Minister for Health and Community Care to officially open one of Europes largest and most advanced centres for the sterilisation of hospital surgical & medical instrumentation at Cowlairs, Glasgow.

Glasgow's hospitals use a range of instruments including single surgical instruments, complex theatre sets and various items of medical equipment. All of this instrumentation has to be collected, decontaminated, tested, repackaged, sterilizedand returned to hospital staff quickly to ensure that thousands of patients can be treated each and every day.

The £9million project will operate from a 40,000 sq. ft centre, based in Cowlairs Industrial Estate, Springburn, and approximately 12 million re-usable instruments, ranging from single surgical instruments and complex theatre sets, to various items of medical equipment, will be decontaminated and sterilised annually.

Boasting a wide range of unique decontamination and sterilisation equipment designed specifically for the new unit, the facility is one of the most advanced and environmentally friendly of its type in Europe and has attracted interest from across the world.

Jonathan Best, Chief Executive of Yorkhill and Project Lead for the Pan Glasgow Decontamination Centre said:"This a great success story for NHS Greater Glasgow, bringing together people from all backgrounds to create an unparalleled sterilisation service for our hospitals.

"Our existing sterilisation units have served us very well over the years, however the NHS has been given strict new standards for the decontamination of hospital instrumentation that none of our existing units can meet. The result is a centralised state-of-the-art unit with which Glasgow can lead the way for others to follow."

The unit itself is divided into three areas which represent different levels of cleanliness from the receiving area where used instruments begin their decontamination journey through a series of washers, disinfectors and sterilizers to the end of the process in a strictly controlled environment.

Andy Kerr, Minister for Health and Community Care, added:"This new central decontamination unit is not only good news for NHS Glasgow, it is a landmark innovation for NHS sterilisation services for the whole of the UK.

"We are absolutely committed to improving cleanliness and infection control in hospitals and other health settings in Scotland. This new Unit will help to ensure the highest standards of decontamination services for NHS Glasgow.A sophisticated new IT tracking system will allow them to identify which instruments were used on individual patients in any of Glasgow's hospitals.

"I want to praise all the staff who have played a part in creating this project and I am pleased their dedication has been recognised by the four national awards the project has received.Once the unit is fully operational it will be the biggest of its kind in the UK and will provide a useful model for others to learn from."

Whilst existing NHS sterile services staff will be transferring to the new centre over the next couple of months, a range of new jobs will also be created from delivery drivers to trained Assistant Technical Officers.

NHS Greater Glasgow Chairman, Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, said:"This fantastic NHS run facility is a tremendous achievement for Glasgow, ensuring we are at the forefront of the latest hygiene standards as well as providing the capacity we need to cope with the increasing number of patients who now receive their treatment as a day-case procedure.

"This new unit will play a crucial role in the £750 million hospital modernisation programme that is set to revolutionise health care in the city."


Notes for Editors

·None of the six existing sterilisation units currently serving Glasgow's hospitals are capable of being upgraded to meet the strict new quality and technical standards regulated by the Medical Devices Directive as monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

·The British Research Establishment (B.R.E.) was involved in all aspects of the planning of the new unit to ensure it was environmentally sound.

·The unit will provide sterilisation services for Glasgow's 110 surgical theatres.

For further media information contact 0141 201 4429.

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Last Updated: 06 February 2015