February 07, 2019

Bio Systems initiative earns prestigious award nomination

We are delighted that our Bio Systems Sharps Management service at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust has been nominated for an HSJ Clinical Support Service award in the HSJ partnership awards 2019. The award recognises providers and commissioners of clinical support services in the NHS that have improved efficiency, quality and value through service redesign or innovation.

Bio Systems Sharps Management is a unique service that has transformed the sharps disposal process. Instead of putting sharps in single-use containers which are then incinerated, Stericycle provides reusable containers that are collected, emptied, disinfected and resupplied to the hospital. The containers can each be used up to 600 times after washing and disinfection.

Working with Salford Royal Foundation trust, we introduced Bio Systems via a phased approach to ensure a smooth transition from single-use containers, with several trials operating in heavy usage areas within the hospital, such as Accident & Emergency, CCU and busy wards. Over a year, Bio Systems was introduced to all areas of the hospital. Staff were fully trained on how to use the containers and ancillary equipment during each phase of the implementation process.

In the short time the Bio Systems Sharps Management service has been in place, it has delivered tangible benefits for the trust and its staff. Eliminating single-use containers has created financial savings, as well as drastically lowering the CO2 emissions the process generates.

As the containers of sharps are removed from the site regularly and clean replacement containers are supplied on a daily basis, the trust no longer has a backlog of waste building up on the site. The introduction of Bio Systems has also meant a significant improvement in the safety of staff at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, as a Stericycle service technician handles the full containers. This has the added benefit of freeing up hospital porters to carry out other duties.

Being shortlisted is a fantastic acknowledgement of the hard work and investment that together with NHS trusts we are putting into making clinical waste management more sustainable and cost-effective. The winner of all the HSJ Partnership Awards will be announced at a black-tie event on 20th March.

Ian Osborne

Vice President UK and Ireland