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Greener Endoscopy Journey - Royal Bournemouth Hospital, University Hospitals Dorset
29 August 2023

We spoke to Sarah Baxendell who is the green endoscopy lead champion at University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital Endoscopy and she shared with us the changes they have made to their endoscopy department.

‘We have a 'Green team' that consists of five members of staff, who all have various roles within the department, this enables us to initiate and implement changes easier within the department. We consist of myself, who is a band 5 Staff Nurse, the Clinical Lead Endoscopist, Health care assistant, apprenticeship student nurse, another band 5 Staff Nurse and finally the department's Administration Manager.

We have created two notice boards, one for staff education, which includes important information on waste management, recycling, and other sustainable information. There is an area on the notice board to encourage staff members to write if they have any green ideas. We have another large noticeboard, located near the endoscopy reception/waiting area, this has general information, aimed at patients and staff, this includes our aims, objectives and what we have achieved so far to make our department greener.

We have implemented potable water, for flushing through the endoscope biopsy port channel, instead of using plastic sterile bottles.

Recycling bins are now in every procedure room, six in total and they are in all the offices, to promote recycling.

We have liaised with our waste managing team and have implemented 'tiger' waste bags, that cost £275 per tonne to dispose, instead of costly orange infectious disease waste, that cost 370 per tonne to dispose, this was our only waste stream for clinical waste. infectious waste is now being used for patients with infectious diseases only.

We have discontinued the use of expensive bedside cleaning kits and are now using reusable bowls, green gauze, and reusable bottles to store the detergent bottles.

We are now using reusable cups for our water dispenser instead of the single use plastic cups. We encourage patients to bring in their own dressing gown, bag, slippers, and denture pots as we have added the information into the patient letter.

Green endoscopy is now added to the agendas for all our staff meetings and endoscopy user group meetings. Finally, we are encouraging staff to turn all their workstations and equipment off at the end of the day.

We are very proud of our changes and are driven to make more sustainable changes, but we still have a way to go for a greener endoscopy. We have lots of ideas especially with moving forward with being paperless and becoming more digital and looking at our consumables and our biopsy pathways.’

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