Sterile Services Department (SSD)

The Sterile Services Department at King's Mill Hospital operates a quality system of working certified according to Annex V of Council Directive 93/42/EEC concerning medical devices.  The quality system is also audited against BS EN 13485 and the Department is registered with the Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and Department of Health.

The Department welcomes visits from customers and potential users of the service to see the Department and to discuss service requirements.

Aims of the Service

To increase the availability of sterile instruments and dressings to General Medical Practitioners and others to undertake clinical procedures in their localities, enhancing the provision for minor surgery, family planning and other services including the requirements for nursing homes.

To reduce the incidence of minor surgical referrals to hospital waiting lists by General Medical Practitioners.

Service Development Principles

Sterile Services standard packs as supplied to hospital and community nursing services will be used wherever possible.   Charges will include the provision and overhead costs including repair of instruments provided.

Please note that there is an annual review of overhead charges by the Trust’s Finance Department and a notification of any changes will be sent out to customers as soon as possible after this has taken place.

Commencement of Service Provision

General Practitioners, Nursing Home Administrators and other potential users of the service are required to make their initial request for inclusion in the service by writing to the Sterile Services and Decontamination Manager at King’s Mill Hospital, outlining their requirements.

Arrangements can then be made for further discussions regarding the scope and level of service required together with an assessment of instruments which may need to be provided.   If suitable, a user may provide his/her own selection of instruments (of an appropriate quality and provision of correct legal documentation)  or alternatively, the requirements can be purchased through Sterile Services and charged to the user at cost plus a handling charge of 10%.

The Sterile Services Department offers a standard turnaround time of 48 hours for the re-processing of goods, once user requirements have been agreed a basic stock list of items to be provided will be agreed between the 'Practice' or 'Hirer' and the Sterile Services and Decontamination Manager. Detail of re-processing costs will be available for packs and instrument sets.

Supplementary swabs, cotton wool balls, dressing packs etc may also purchase these through this arrangement, these can be ordered via the telephone (ex 3184) quoting the Practice number.

Each practice will be registered with the full name, address and telephone number of the 'Hirer' to whom invoices will be sent and on whose authority variations to the service may be agreed in writing from time to time.

Returning used instruments for re-processing

A form has been designed (please find attached) which must be completed by the 'Hirer' or his/her authorised representative for each practice to use when returning used equipment.   A master copy should be kept by the user for reproduction and future use.  The following information should be entered:

Practice Code number and address.

  • A list of packs and individual instruments being returned.
  • The name in capital letters of the person returning these items.
  • The telephone number and the date despatched.

It is extremely important that relevant procedure information should be entered on the check list when being returned to SSD to allow full traceability of instrumentation. Peel off labels are provided on all packs for insertion in patient notes.  Where instrumentation trays/packs contain a bar coded tag, this should always remain with the set and be returned when used.  Some single items are now ‘key-dotted’, this is a new initiative and all traceability information is contained within the ‘dot’.  Please ensure that this information source is not damaged/removed.

On receipt in the SSD, staff will check that the contents listed have been received and note the name of the recipient and the date received.   If any instruments are missing, this will be noted.   If a replacement is to be provided and charged at cost plus 10% handling charge when the packs/sets are re-issued, authorisation will be requested from the practice/user.

The form contains a space for the date and serial number of the delivery note for items re-issued.

 Instruments used in the system will be repaired or replaced at the discretion of the Sterile Services and Decontamination Manager.   No other instruments or equipment may be included for this purpose.

Transport of Products

The cost of the packs and instrument sets does not include transport costs.   Users of this service may alternatively collect sterile products from the SSD and return used equipment for re-processing themselves using UN3291 compliant containers.  Product information relating to such containers can be obtained from SSD.

If arrangements are able to be made for a collection and delivery service using the hospital transport facilities, an additional charge may be levied to be agreed between both parties.

Details of Transactions

In commencing this service, time may elapse while instruments are purchased.   Whilst every effort will be made to replace items sent for re-processing, no responsibility can be accepted by King’s Mill Hospital regarding delays or inconvenience to users in the provision of new or re-processed items.

Every issue of equipment will be accompanied by an itemised delivery note indicating the Practice Number and Address and these have serial numbers and are dated. An invoice will be raised at quarterly intervals, to which will be attached a statement indicating the use and cost of the service item by item.

Period of Notice

Notification for ceasing the service by either the Practice or Sterile Services shall be Three Calendar months.      


The Sterile Services and Decontamination Manager, Mrs Kay Theaker, or in her absence the Assistant Manager, will be responsible for managing the service and will be able to offer additional information upon request.  Please contact us if we can assist in any way.