The Isle of Wight NHS Trust was established in 2012 and is the only integrated acute, community, mental health and ambulance provider in England. The trust has a workforce of nearly 3,000 full-time equivalent staff, serving a resident population of 140,000. It operates from St Mary’s Hospital in Newport, which has approximately 250 beds, as well as 20 community sites throughout the island. Stericycle provides a fully integrated waste management service to the trust, comprising the collection and disposal of clinical, hygiene, dental, and sharps waste.
Delivering peace of mind
In 2014, to address compliance concerns that had arisen from disjointed waste management services spread across multiple contracts, the trust re-tendered its waste services, taking the opportunity to rationalise contracts, redesign service provision, and address known operational issues.
The shift from multiple suppliers to one provider was a concern for the trust, but Stericycle delivered a smooth transition, which ensured full business continuity and minimum disruption to staff.
Charles Joly, environmental waste and sustainability manager at the trust, says: “Stericycle was able to supply a fully integrated service meeting a range of complex specifications, including the collection of clinical waste in bulk from the hospital, community clinics, and patients treated at home by community nurses.”
Stericycle also took over the collection of specialist waste streams from the trust’s dental services, as well as a feminine hygiene service for all sites – over 200 washrooms serviced fortnightly. As part of a consortium tender led by the trust, Stericycle performs all collections of clinical waste for the island’s 24 GP practices, including medicine waste from 41 community pharmacies.
Charles says: “Having that complete peace of mind that we can count on Stericycle to deliver compliance and quality at all times is priceless.” Using the trust’s clinical waste transfer station, Stericycle is able to operate a small collection vehicle permanently based on the island, taking waste from the community to St Mary’s Hospital for bulking. This waste is collected by a heavy goods vehicle alongside the larger volumes produced by the hospital.
Working in this way aligns the process with the trust’s sustainability goals, as Charles explains. “It removes the need for the community vehicle to travel back and forth to the waste’s final destination and makes the most of the extra capacity available in the larger vehicle. As a result, significant carbon savings are made and the environmental impacts of the operation are reduced.”
Innovating for success
The Bio Systems Sharps Management service was trialled across three areas of the hospital in August 2015 and proved popular, with staff members reporting that the service assisted them in the safe disposal of sharps waste better than traditional disposable containers.
Due to space restrictions, modifications to ward waste disposal cupboards were required for the system to work throughout the hospital. Stericycle conducted a phased roll out across the site to allow for the modifications to be made to each ward cupboard before the system was introduced.
Charles says: “We have developed a strong partnership with Stericycle, working jointly on solving service issues and implementing innovative solutions.” The service has built on the success of Stericycle’s partnership with the trust by further reducing carbon emissions, as well as helping to improve staff working and providing financial savings.