Turning the tide on NHS waste

A sea change in practice is needed to reduce the amount of waste in the NHS, says Jane Bates

A sea change in practice is needed to reduce the amount of waste in the NHS, says Jane Bates

‘Ow! Ow!’ I thought, but kept my pain to myself. Sister in theatres had set the bar high when it came to handling instruments from our steam steriliser, claiming she had asbestos fingers.

The trouble was, she seemed to expect us all to be equally insensitive – or maybe just as stoic – when it came to handling hot metal.

In those days, as little as possible was disposable when it came to hospital equipment. We had our own autoclave sterilising chambers (hence the throbbing finger-tips), and great vats of Milton solution to sterilise babies’ bottles. Even the mops we used to clean beds between patients were seeped in a powerful disinfectant called Lysol, and used again and again.



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