The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Creating a greener NHS - medical devices pilot

29 November 2022

The Trust is working with NHS England on a pilot to reduce carbon emissions and rationalise surgical instrument trays used in laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedures.

Reusing and streamlining surgical instruments creates carbon, cost and time savings. NHS England's Procurement team approached the Trust following our success in a similar project, which saved 10.3 tonnes of CO2e and £88,695 a year by rationalising surgical instrument trays in appendectomies. Recently the Trust was awarded Greener NHS Healthier Future Action Fund monies to expand this work to acute cholecystectomies.

This week the team from Greener NHS met with colleagues from across the Trust to formally launch the pilot and spend time in the theatre observing laparoscopic cholecystectomy operations.

Dr. Sharmeen Lotia, Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Director for Theatres and Anaesthesia attended the event and said: “LTHT welcomed the opportunity to showcase the collaborative work between colleagues in T&A, AMS and our QIP team to support the trust’s green agenda, and our goal to become one of the greenest NHS Trusts in the UK. We were excited to share our ideas with the team from NHSE, and introduce our pilot work of aiming to streamline surgical instrument trays for laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedures in our theatres”

The pilot will run until January, with a how-to guide and evaluation planned for publication in March 2023. The aim of the how-to guide is to create an approach to instrument tray rationalisation that can be replicated across other NHS trusts and surgical specialities.

Device reuse and refurbishment is one of 13 priority interventions that will enable the NHS to reach a net zero NHS supply chain by 2045, which accounts for more than 60% of the NHS carbon footprint.