London, UK February 11, 2019 – MarketsandMarkets interviewed recently Karen Tweed, Deputy Operations Director (Decontamination), Northern General Hospital regarding the 4th Annual MarketsandMarkets Infection Control, Sterilization & Decontamination in Healthcare Congress, taking place on 28th February – 1st March 2019 in Hotel Novotel London West, UK.
Karen Tweed, Deputy Operations Director (Decontamination), started her career at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary when she ran the pharmacy sterile manufacturing unit. During this time, she was in the first cohort for her first MSc in Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Assurance with the Leeds University. She was the first person to attain MSc Decontamination with the University of Highlands and Islands.
Q – What are the recent advances in SSD or Decontamination and current challenges that need immediate attention?
A – There are several challenges in SSD which seem to be ongoing with no resolve. Manufacturers reprocessing instructions are an ongoing battle. The MHRA and other notified bodies request that all medical devices sold onto the UK market have validated reprocessing instructions, but this may not always match the UK decontamination equipment setting as stated in the HTM series. This often causes issues as the manufacturer must be contacted to ensure the equipment can be reprocessed successfully through UK equipment. Can each piece of equipment be risked assessed if the manufacturer will not give statement to say it is suitable and with equipment becoming more complex do, we have the assurance that a simple risk assessment will cover this?
Manufacturers often provide complex equipment such as orthopaedic sets in containers which are impossible to wrap using conventional wrap without getting tears, this too is an ongoing discussion with manufacturers. Often the containers are too large to simply drop into a rigid sterilisation container and the hospital consultants are reluctant to decant the equipment into din baskets and the rigid sterilisation containers as it makes it more difficult for them to see the equipment and sizes. Discussions have been ongoing for years and need to be addressed at the R&D point by the manufacturers, but it will involve cost ……. will this issue ever be resolved?
General decontamination issues are often around clinical area medical devices and patient shared equipment cleaning and the efficacy. Clinical staff are often pushed for time and it often isn’t a priority for them to give evidence on cleaning. Rolling out training on decontamination to a trust can be a huge undertaking and part of the training must include the rationale as to why it is so important.
Q – What are the new opportunities emerging in your field of work?
A – The Sheffield trust are currently exploring the use of UVc environmental decontamination and its effect on patient flow. During the winter period most trusts suffer from winter bed pressure and using the UVc system hopefully will show a more rapid turn round of beds in areas where infections have been identified and a more deep clean is required.
Q – What are the key take away points from your presentation topic which will help in building the knowledge base of attendees?
A – My presentation topic is about the multidisciplinary approach to decontamination. Take away points will be around it’s not a one-person job. Trusts employ decontamination leads and often expect them to be stand-alone, but my talk will discuss scenarios which show a team effort is required. There needs to be an interaction between the microbiologists, IPC team, domestic services, estates and supplies to ensure that decontamination issues are managed correctly. The Sheffield Teaching Hospital may not always have the perfect set up but are lucky enough to have a very good basis with a Decontamination Management Group who have the authority to make decisions, hold a budget and make change in the trust. The presentation will also discuss the challenges in rolling out new decontamination protocols and the successes and pitfall to this with regard to briefings, training and implementation.
Karen Tweed will present on A multidisciplinary approach to hospital infection control & decontamination.
The latest conference agenda and complete speaker line-up is available to download on the conference page, where you can also register – https://bit.ly/2FUZbXI
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