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FIS/HIS Decontamination Session

9th November, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


1.    14.00-14.15
Andrew Birch: The technical support available for Infection Control specialists

2.    14.15-14.30
Karen Tweed: The basics of decontamination

3.    14.30-14.45
David Jenkins: How do we know about outbreaks linked to decontamination breaches?

14.45-15.15 – Questions and Answers


Chair: Gill Ellis-Pow

Gill Ellis-Pow


Gill has been involved in decontamination for over 20years, starting with the Scottish National Audit headed by David Hurrell and Rosemary Simpson and has been the NHS Lothian Decontamination Lead since 2002.

Previously Gill worked in the Theatre Suite at St John’s Hospital, Livingstone from 1989-2002 as a Charge Nurse and latterly as the Theatre Manager/Co-ordinator.

Gill was the Chair of the Scottish National Endoscopy Decontamination Working Group and is a member of the Scottish National CJD Working Group and RMD Decontamination Expert Group.

Gill has been a member of the Central Sterilising Club since 2003 and has been a committee member twice; most recently for the past 2 years. She is also a member of the Institute of Decontamination Sciences, was Director of Communications/Editor of the Medical Device Decontamination Journal for 6 years and sat on the Education Sub Committee for about 8 years.

Gill completed her BSc, with Distinction, in 2007 and then her Post-Graduate Diploma in Medical Device Decontamination 2011.

She lives in Port Seton, has four boys, plays golf at Gullane Golf Club and is the Honorary Secretary of Gullane Ladies’ Golf Club.


1.    Andrew Birch

Andrew Birch

Title:  The technical support available for Infection Control specialists


After serving an engineering apprenticeship in the pharmaceutical industry, latterly with a special interest in steam sterilization validation, Andrew moved to healthcare in the late 90’s. After a time working as a Test Person on autoclaves and washer disinfectors Andrew completed the Advanced Course in Sterilization Technology in 2010 and has been a registered Authorising Engineer (Decontamination) since 2012. Andrew now works for NHS Trusts, pharmaceutical companies, and training providers.

Overview of presentation:

Andrew will discuss the automated processes used in the decontamination of surgical instruments and endoscopes, including the validation, tests and checks performed to ensure safe and compliant function and the problem areas that might come to the attention of Infection Prevention and Control Teams.


2.    Karen Tweed

Karen Tweed

Title:  The basics of decontamination


Karen started her career at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary when she worked in pharmacy manufacturing.  After 20 years she moved into sterile services and relocated to the Leeds Trust.  Karen obtained her MSc Decontamination with the University of Highland and Islands in 2009. Karen moved jobs in January 2014 and now works for the Sheffield Trust as Deputy Operations Director, Decontamination. Karen is also the Membership Secretary for the Central Sterilising Club.

Overview of presentation:

Karen will discuss the basics of decontamination and will describe the differences between cleaning, disinfection and sterilising as well as the roles and responsibilities for decontamination practices in a healthcare setting including responsibilities of the stakeholders and will describe the differences between automated and manual cleaning.


3.    David Jenkins

David Jenkins

Title: How do we know about outbreaks linked to decontamination breaches?


Dr David Jenkins has been a consultant medical microbiologist and lead infection prevention doctor at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust since 1997. He is also the lead doctor for antimicrobials in the Trust. He provides clinical microbiology support for Glenfield Hospital, helping with the management of infection in cardiology, cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery patients including patients on intensive care in the extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation unit. In addition, David is an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Leicester where he is involved in teaching medical and other heath science students.

David has held a number of national roles over recent years, including being as elected member of Council of the Royal College of Pathologists, where he is also the immediate past-chair of the Medical Microbiology and Virology Specialty Advisory Committee. He has also served on the councils of the Healthcare Infection Society and the Central Sterilising Club. He is the current President-Elect of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. He takes over full presidential duties in March 2021.

David has contributed to a number of national guidelines and co-authored research papers on infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship. He has also been in an invited speaker at conferences in Europe, Asia, North and South America.

Overview of presentation:

David will discuss how decontamination failures related to cystoscopes appears to have led to a number of post-cystoscopy Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections including  bloodstream infection and septic arthritis and will discuss how decontamination processes that are not appropriate for the UK can lead to process failures.


9th November, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


Central Sterilising Club
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