The new and improved Theatre Sterile Services Unit (TSSU) at Oswestry’s specialist orthopaedic hospital has been unveiled, following a six-month long project to modernise and improve working conditions and safety.

 The aim of the work was to deliver a modern, compliant facility that can increase the throughput and productivity of the TSSU at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital for the next decade, allowing the hospital to grow and provide surgical teams with a state-of-the-art department.

The TSSU team at the Oswestry-based hospital are responsible for cleaning surgical equipment and instruments.

The work, which was a joint effort between the Trust’s Estates team and Read Construction, has seen the department transformed into a modern and efficient space, with brand-new equipment.

The project has involved a significant re-working of the existing space, allowing used surgical equipment to follow an improved linear pathway.

Instruments come into a holding room, then through into a cleaning room. The holding room has interlocking doors at each end, which ensures none of the work done in the cleaning room can contaminate any other room.

After staff complete routine cleans, the instruments go into a multi-chamber or single chamber washer disinfectors, that clean and dry the instruments before passing through to the sterile packaging room; once packed the instruments pass through autoclave sterilisers before being made available to be used again.

John Welsby, Sterile Services Manager, said: “The TSSU team have worked really hard over the building period, having to work 24 hours a day in our smaller Sterile Services Unit, in very arduous conditions.

“The team have really shown what they are made of. Now that we have our new super-efficient Sterile Service, we are able to futureproof the growth of RJAH for many years to come.

“I have to say a big thanks to all our support services and Theatre colleagues for the support we have been offered over the last six months, and I’m sure we wouldn’t be where we are today with our new department if it wasn’t with the support of all staff here at RJAH.”

Michael Bowen, Estates Capital Manager, added: “The design of the building and the new equipment enable the whole process of cleaning and sterilising the surgical instruments to be undertaken in a more timely manner, as well as providing a greatly improved work area for the dedicated TSSU staff.

“It has been a challenging project, but utilising the vast knowledge base and work ethic of everyone involved, I am pleased with the building we have been able to deliver.”

Pictured:: From left, Michael Bowen, Estates Capital Manager; and John Welsby, Sterile Services Manager; in the new and improved Theatre Sterile Services Unit (TSSU).