Decision to outsource decontamination services brings benefits for Surrey trust

12 months into five-year contract and defect rates are lower than ever

The outsourcing of decontamination services by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust has reduced defect rates by 2-3%, increased productivity and enhanced patient safety, it was revealed this week.

Synergy Health was awarded the five-year sterilisation contract in 2011 and has now completed its first year running the service, which was previously operated in-house.

And this week the trust revealed a significant increase in productivity, faster instrument turnaround times and a drop in defect rates to 0.34% since the take-over. The introduction of key performance indicators has also enabled the trust to more accurately measure the success of its service and it is able to identify any problems easily and holds operational meetings at regular intervals, allowing for improved communication. It is now also able to measure the adherence of its staff to processes and governance.

Adrian Coward, chief executive of Synergy Health, UK and Ireland, said: “The trust is seeing an improvement in the service and different departments within the organisation, as greater engagement is bringing in quicker results.”

“The outsourcing of the sterile services has allowed the trust to enhance patient safety while making important savings. We will strive to ensure we focus on the needs of the hospital to continue to deliver excellent and safe patient care in the coming years.”

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