NCA clean-up on brand new equipment

8 July 2024

The NCA is leading the way in the cleaning of surgical instruments, making it the first Trust in the UK to implement an innovative piece of equipment known as the BICARmed CleanBox.   

The new equipment aids the sterilisation and disinfection of surgical equipment allowing procedures ranging from orthopaedics (hip and knee replacements), vascular, podiatry, and even the birth of babies to be performed safely.    

James Buckley, quality manager at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust (NCA) said: “We are proud to be the first sterile service in the UK to implement a CleanBox.  This new-to-market technology equips us with a pioneering, efficient and eco-friendly solution for the decontamination of surgical instruments. It delivers a rapid cleaning treatment superior to the traditional manual techniques previously available to our profession.   

“The CleanBox is a non-abrasive cleaning option using sodium bicarbonate, water, and air to rapidly ‘hose’ soiled items behind a cabin door. This not only helps us to meet patient demand better, it also improves the safety for our technicians and increases the potential lifespan of the Trust’s medical device inventory.”   

This pioneering technology was initially conceived in Italy for the cleaning of Formula 1 components but has since been applied to healthcare.   

David Taylor, NCA decontamination technician added: “The decontamination of surgical instruments is a huge challenge and responsibility. The increasing complexity in instrument design and shape has meant that manual cleaning techniques require intense and repetitive application to achieve the desired result. However, the CleanBox enables us to accomplish this in one swoop, with full confidence, and without the need to don uncomfortable PPE.”   

Kelly Hulse, NCA decontamination technician also added “The CleanBox is a great addition to our facility because it better protects us from the substances on soiled devices. Our impact upon the environment is also reduced because it lessens our dependence upon harmful chemicals and single-use plastics required of traditional pre-cleaning techniques.”    

Colleagues at the Royal Oldham’s Hospital Sterilization & Disinfection Unit (HSDU) are responsible for the re-sterilisation of medical devices across the NCA footprint. The adoption of this piece of equipment makes them a forerunner and reference site for the NHS and other sterile service units within the UK. 

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Dave Taylor, decontamination technician


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