With the cut of a ribbon NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson officially opened the redeveloped Central Decontamination Unit (CDU) at Western Isles Hospital yesterday, Wednesday June 12th.

The CDU is responsible for the cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of reusable medical instruments to make them safe for use on patients.

Mr Jamieson said: “As we look to the future we plan and take the necessary steps to improve the quality and sustainability of our facilities. To that end, we have extended and modernised our Central Decontamination Unit.

“Safe and effective cleaning and sterilisation of a wide range of clinical equipment and instrumentation is a critical part of our care system. I am delighted with what has been delivered here and thank all staff and partners involved. An excellent job, well done.”

Designed by architect Gordon Anderson, the project’s construction work was undertaken by Lewis Builders Ltd, and has added 155m ² extra floor space.

“Lewis Builders were great and they delivered on a very complex project, carried out to a very tight time-frame,” said NHSWI Estates Manager Douglas Mackenzie. “They completed the construction element of the project on time and to a very high standard.”

Alongside additional staff space, the redevelopment project includes the installation of a new state-of-the-art decontamination plant and equipment, with extra capacity and redundancy built into every system to ensure that the CDU can continue to process even if more than one element fails.

The new plant and equipment has been designed, purchased and configured in a manner that permits each machine to operate independently from each other – allowing any one element to be removed for service and testing without affecting anything else in the area, or the decontamination process, or volume of instruments being processed.

Two new BMM Weston sterilising Autoclaves and two separate clean steam generators have been installed; and the capacity for washing instruments at Western Isles Hospital has been further increased with the installation of an extra Steris washer.
With a total of three Steris instrument washers now in place, it allows for quicker processing of instruments and also provides back up and redundancy should one washer are taken out of service for repair.

Feeding both the washers and clean steam generators is a new state of the art Duplex ‘Lubron’ Reverse Osmosis water purification plant, of much larger capacity than the previous. And with multiple filtration units, the system again offers additional back-up and space capacity.

With the ability to increase the amount of equipment which can be processed, and more importantly provide backup and resilience previously not present, the CDU project has also seen a major increase of space within the unit.

Space within the wash room, inspection and packing, and sterile storage areas has been increased, making the working environment more comfortable and safe; and new staff changing, shower facilities, and break room have also been added.

Peter Wright CDU production manager said on the project, “It’s been a long process getting to this point of having a fully operational CDU unit in place at Western Isles Hospital. We’d like to show our gratitude to all the patients who were affected by the CDU refurbishments for baring with us, we’d like to thank the various other facilities on the mainland who helped sterilise and process our equipment, we’d like to thank our staff for their tireless work and also countless others who helped along the way.”

“At the hospital we set very high standards and with this new unit in place it will be great to get back to providing the excellent service that we have been able to in the past.”