Infection Prevention by the Inside Hospitals UK publication
Apple of Their Eye
Dramatic CO2 savings, a reduction in cost, point-of-use sharps safety, no injuries, and international recognition for The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust following its implementation of Daniels Sharpsmart’s reusable sharps container system.
The Rotherham NHSFoundation Trust has been recognised with a prestigious Green Apple Environmental Award following the implementation of the Daniels Sharpsmart reusable sharps containers.
According to the waste and environmental services officer, Catherine Jacques, Daniels Sharpsmart reusable sharps containment solution has a multi-role within the organisation. For staff and patient safety, it assists with sharps disposal at point-of-use. In turn, we can confirm the introduction of the Daniels Sharpsmart reusable container has resulted in no reported injuries pertaining to disposal of sharps. It assists our sustainability protocol – reducing our CO2 impact on the environment and the use of plastic.
A trail of the Daniels Sharpsmart system was implemented in seven wards across the trust and Ann Kerrane, the matron for infection prevention and control, explained: “The safety tray system means that sharps containers cannot be overfilled so reduces the risk of injury and leaves no open access for little fingers.’’
According to Andrew Jackson, of the Sharps Safety Group, “We were doing point-of-use but the bins(containers) we had, were being carried or were not safe where they were located. So not only did Daniels Sharpsmart facilitate safe sharps disposal but it did this at the point-of-use. When you see the trolley combined with the sharps container it sends a powerful message. It reinforces the training that you need the two items.’’
To evaluate the trial, 77 out of 100 questionnaires were returned with 95% saying they thought other areas of the trust would benefit from using the Daniels Sharpsmart system.
Backing the system for the sustainability and other benefits it would bring to the trust, Johan Cartwright, director of estates and facilities, submitted a proposal for the implementation of the Daniels Sharpsmart reusable container system to the trust’s Corporate Business Planning and Investment Committee which was approved.
Daniels Sharpsmart explained that each service area has a different and specific need and that they don’t operate ‘a one size fits all’ policy. Daniels Sharpsmart undertook training and displayed posters in sluice areas and on trolleys and carts.
So how is the system being accepted in practice? Bev Nichols, matron - critical care and central treatment room ICU/HDU, said, “We use a lot of sharps and it’s a far safer clinical system. I think they’re great.’’
Mary Garner, ward sister, agreed, adding: “They integrated well within the service, as they assisted with the disposal of large items using the S32 containers and the trolley allowed them to be taken as close to point-of-use as possible.’’
The Daniels Sharpsmart reusable containers are delivered already assembled and specified for use in a pre-audit. Those in public areas have a flip-top safety mechanism which limits access.
The design of the Daniels Sharpsmart reusable containers ensure waste is filled in the bins horizontally, enabling one to two thirds more waste to be disposed of than the previous system.
“Introducing Daniels Sharpsmart has brought about all aspects of point-of-use, sharps safety and sustainability together,’’ said Donna Jones, the trust’s facilities manager. “From an operations point of view, we have managed to reduce the amount of time in delivery and collection, partly due to using bigger bins.’’
Graham Royle, the trust’s health and safety coordinator for estates, said: “Sharpsmart is a completely sealed unit. Once the needle is in the container it is tamper-proof.We need less frequent collection and they’re fully leak proof.’’
Catherin added:“I am the first waste officer that the trust has employed and was tasked with targets to reduce waste and to introduce more sustainable processes throughout the trust. I also wanted to ease the operational element of collection and delivery and to eventually release time back to facilities staff.’’
Following the introduction of Sharpsmart, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust anticipated it would reduce its carbon footprint by 109.80 tons in the first year with a total of 1 183.77 tons of CO2 saved by the end of year ten. This will result in a 91% total carbon reduction compared with the previous process of disposing of the trust’s sharps bins via incineration. The trust is also reducing plastic by13 tons.
“Those figures and our anticipated financial savings are proving to be correct,’’ said Catherine, who along with the members of the Trust and Daniels Sharpsmart UK will be receiving the Green Apple Environmental Award at the House of Commons.
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