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Sterile Services and Theatres Working in Harmony

As the name Sterile Services suggests, this department operates as a unit dedicated to supporting others, not least Theatres. As with most service providers, quality and efficiency are key to ensuring their customers are not just satisfied, but delighted!

Theatres, meanwhile, are required to ensure patient safety while carrying out timely, faultless operations. If things go wrong, this can lead to fines, cancelled operation costs, and even litigation. These costs are often deducted from Theatres’ budgets.

To avoid these costs, Theatres rely on Sterile Services to make sure:

  • Instrument packing follows validated processes
  • Sterilised instrument containers and wraps are free from damage and moisture
  • Complex instruments are tested as appropriate
  • Instruments are processed to standards, safe from cross-contamination
  • Processes are tested and validated
  • Instruments are available to them, on time, for procedures


How important are cost savings and improved efficiencies to Theatres?
Sterile Services Departments’ budgets are often not big enough to support the high level of efficiency sought by Theatres to meet targets, reduce costs, and run smoothly 
to the standard they would like to offer.

There are approximately 80,000 operations cancelled every year within the NHS due to non-clinical reasons such as instrument unavailability, damaged wraps, etc. 1These can cost Theatres and Hospitals millions of pounds, and cause distress to patients and their families.

To create a mutually beneficial situation for both Sterile Services and Theatres, Sterile Services have the opportunity to increase their revenues by offering Theatres a more efficient service. To receive enhanced services, and to take costs, time, and stress out of the equation, it would be to Theatres’ advantage to invest a small percentage of their budget in innovative tools in the SSD that improve efficiency.


You can find out more about our solutions for cost-savings and improved efficiencies in our SSD Brochure.

1Cancelled Elective Operations Data, NHS England,, 18.11.2016


Sterile Services and Theatres Working in Harmony

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