Hospital Sterile Services Unit

About our service

Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust invested in a new onsite decontamination facility. This facility conforms to Health Building Note 13 regulations and is equipped with the latest technology required to ensure compliance with current legislation relating to decontamination of surgical instruments and equipment. 

The facility re-located from “outwards” site and opened in July 2009 providing a decontamination service to the Queen's Hospital including cleaning of flexible endoscopes within the endoscopy department and to other Hospitals and General Practitioners, Nursing Homes, within and outside the Trust. 

The department has a traceability system which enables each set or individual item to be traced by means of a bar code.
It is a service that is never seen by patients but, without it, operations would potentially cease within 48 hours. 

To support a belief in the excellent service provided and to ensure that all operational activities function to the same level of efficiency and comply with the requirements of the European Directive MDD/93/42/EEC, the HSSU operates a quality management system to the Standards ISO13485:2003, verified by a recognised Notified Body, BSI Quality Assurance.  This provides both quality assurance for HSSU customers and purchasers, and effective quality management for Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and other users.

Contaminated re-usable instrument sets and supplementary instruments returned from theatres and ward areas have to be decontaminated prior to re-use,   

The process of decontamination consists of 3 main stages : 

  • Cleaning the process that removes contaminants including dust, soil, large numbers of micro -organisms and organic matter (e.g. blood, vomit). It is an essential prerequisite to disinfection and sterilisation. It also removes the organic matter on which micro-organisms might subsequently thrive.
  • Disinfection is a process used to reduce the number of micro-organisms but not usually bacterial spores. The process does not necessarily kill or remove all micro-organisms, but reduces their number to a level which is not harmful to health.
  • Sterilisation removes or destroys all forms of microbial life including bacterial spores.

An average of 2,778 sets of instruments are processed each week through the department

Contact us

We welcome visitors and to arrange a visit/tour of the department please contact either: 

Wendy Kirk – Manager and Decontamination Lead on extension 3100 


Kay Page – Production Manager on extension 2340

  • GEM Going that extra mile
  • Top 40 Hospital Winner
  • NHS Choices
  • Urdu Polski
  • Burton Clinic