East Cheshire NHS Trust operates three hospitals in Macclesfield, Knutsford and Congleton, with 4,000 dedicated staff. The trust also provides a range of community and outpatient services across a wide area of Cheshire, serving a population of 450,000. Since 2012, Stericycle has been providing a complete waste management and healthcare transport solution comprising clinical, domestic, ad-hoc, chemical, confidential, electrical, and WEEE waste.
Providing an integrated waste service
The trust wanted to unite the waste management functions across each of the streams into one seamless service, while also increasing the efficiency around waste segregation at each of the hospital sites. Stericycle began working with the trust in April 2012, introducing its Integrated Waste Stream Solution.
Since then, Stericycle has also implemented its Bio Systems Sharps Management service across all three hospital sites. The trust opted for a managed service, which sees reusable sharps containers placed in wards and collected by a trained Stericycle technician before the contents reach the fill-line. This eliminates the need for staff to handle the sharps containers themselves. The filled containers are emptied, disinfected, and reassembled before being returned to the trust. Each container can be reused up to 600 times.
By replacing single-use containers with the reusable Bio Systems containers, the service has achieved cost savings for the trust while reducing the carbon emissions resulting from the clinical waste disposal process.
Engaging with staff to increase efficiency
Prior to working with Stericycle, the trust was using yellow bags for all types of clinical waste. Stericycle has helped to promote appropriate waste segregation amongst staff, which has resulted in more efficient, safe, and sustainable waste management.
Staff at East Cheshire NHS Trust also expressed an interest in recycling and wanted dedicated recycling outlets to encourage this habit. Stericycle worked with the trust to place at least one recycling outlet in each ward and public area across the three hospital sites.
Waste awareness days and roadshows are held regularly at the trust to strengthen training about waste types, increase staff engagement, and boost overall awareness of waste segregation within the trust. Stericycle has introduced nominated waste champions at each site to help with this. Working with Stericycle, the trust is on track to meet internal waste management goals and sustainability targets.