Central sterile supply: Principles and practice

Book representing the results of five years' work of the operational research unit of the Trust.


Published: 01/01/1963

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Central sterile supply departments have reached a high degree of sophistication in the United States of America where practically each hospital has its own peculiar arrangements for central sterile supply. If hospitals in the British Isles were slavishly to adopt the methods which are in common use in the U.S.A.- as many hospitals in Continental Europe show signs of doing- the results could be unnecessarily extravagent. This must be avoided.

This book advocates principles of central sterile supply which are intended to be generally applicable to the British hospital service. It takes cognizance of British hospital organisation as it is, and suggests an organisation based on the hospital group rather than on individual hospitals. It emphasizes the need for the organisation of a proper flow of work and economy of labour which, as always, is the most expensive single element of cost. It proposes a change from the system of composite packs, such as are used in the United States, to one of unit packs employing cardboard and paper as packaging materials rather than linen. It recommends the use of disposable substitutes manufactured, packed and sterilised in the factory for those equipments which hospitals cannot re-process satisfactorily for themselves.

The question of cost is discussed in a separate chapter. There will be some initial increase in cost to implement the methods recommended, but the arrangements proposed are in the true interest of patients.

It is hoped that the publication of this work will be of help to those concerned with the planning and organising of arrangements for sterilisation in hospitals.