The compendium – produced by the Royal Surgical Colleges’ – intends to support members of the surgical team to apply the principles of sustainable quality improvement in healthcare.
It includes a set of guidelines and policies that can act as interventions to support members of the surgical team to introduce changes in the operating theatre, to help reduce the carbon footprint of surgery.
Several of these are aligned with Surgical Holdings’ offer for a circular economy solution that addresses all issues raised in cost, reuse, CO2 reduction and safety of surgical instrumentation.
For instance, single-use equipment is a major hotspot in surgical operations, with consumables typically contributing 32% of carbon emissions. The checklist advises that there is no evidence of superior quality or safety with single-use equipment – and that, by swapping for reusable equivalents, significant environmental savings can be easily found. Independent testing has proven Surgical Holdings Reusable Scissors to not lose sharpness after 5000 usage cycles.
The guideline also supports the repair of reusable surgical instruments as another vital step to reduce the carbon footprint of operations. Rizan et al (2022) recently concluded that repair can reduce both cost and the Environment impact of surgery.
Surgical Holdings repairs over 14,500 medical devices per year along with rigid endoscopes, air tools, electric handpieces, laparoscopic and electrosurgery devices – all carried out in-house to strict quality standards.
The award-winning British manufacturer has also developed a range of high-quality reusable instruments, incorporating their exclusive Duo Surface Finish, designed for longevity in performance and corrosion resistance, serviced in-house by a team of experienced and specialist technicians, helping to actively promote recycling, reselling, repurposing, repair, refurbishment, and remanufacturing of stainless-steel products.
Dan Coole, Managing Director of Surgical Holdings, said “Surgical Holdings welcomes the publication of the Intercollegiate Green Theatre Checklist, which presents a huge step in supporting theatre teams to cut their carbon footprint. We are excited to be joining this year Operating Theatres Conference to showcase how, by opting to repair instruments over replace, we can support hospitals to take the best approach for global sustainability and achieve huge savings.””
Healthcare services globally have a large carbon footprint, accounting for over 4% of total carbon emissions. Surgery is responsible for a large portion of these emissions, with a typical single operation estimated to generate between 150-170kgCO2e, equivalent to driving 450 miles in an average petrol car.
The ‘Intercollegiate Green Theatre Checklist’ recognises the importance to act collectively to tackle this challenge.
Studies show that it is possible to reduce the carbon footprint of surgery through improving energy-efficiency of theatres, for example by using reusable or reprocessed surgical devices.
Dan adds: “In the UK, medical equipment contributes 10% of the NHS carbon footprint. Reusable versions of equipment will, in almost every circumstance, reduce carbon footprint. The solution we have developed is to extend our UK manufacture of reusable instruments and develop a unique repair and refurbishment service. Alongside this, we utilise our technicians to not only assist in the manufacture of the devices, but if we manufacture sets of instruments, we also offer a scheduled maintenance to ensure the instruments can be maintained for potentially 20-30 years.”
Surgical Holdings delivers a high-end repair service from its state-of-the-art workshop facility in the City of Southend, with all repairs carried out in-house by a team of highly skilled and experienced technicians. For hospitals, this ensures a quick, quality controlled and cost-efficient service, without the costs and delays associated with shipping products overseas.
The service covers a range of surgical instruments, including rigid endoscopes and orthopaedic power tools.
Visit Surgical Holdings at the 7th Operating Theatres Conference taking place on the 7th February 2023.
For more information visit https://www.surgicalholdings.co.uk/