Did you know that over five million gloves were distributed to the NHS and social care settings in the three months from October to December 2022?
When used correctly, gloves are a vital piece of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). However, there are times when hand washing can be just as effective in protecting staff and their patients – and avoid unnecessary plastic waste going to landfill.
Saving the planet, one glove at a time
This is why the team behind the clinical workstream of our Patient First, Planet First Green Plan are initiating conversations about how we can safely reduce unnecessary glove use and take a step towards making healthcare more sustainable.
These discussions started last month with several virtual ‘Gloves Off’ sessions, where staff reflected on their own glove use, and shared ideas for how we can nurture a gloves off approach looking ahead.
The one-hour workshops attracted staff from medicine, surgery, outpatients, pathology, catering, IPC and risk management, and the outputs have been written up for development by the team
This included the need for easy materials that highlight when gloves should be worn, and when they shouldn’t. In response, we have produced a handy infographic for teams to follow during Environment Week and beyond.
Join the conversation during Environment Week (UHSussex staff only)
During UHSussex Environment Week, staff are invited to attend a special ‘Gloves Off’ event on MS Teams on Thursday 23 February from 1pm-2pm.
It’s their chance to hear more about this important programme of work, with expert insights from UHSussex Green Clinical leads, and guest speakers from University of West London Great Ormond Street Hospital.
There will also be a chance to put questions to the panel at the end. For UHSussex staff who would like to attend, please email the Communications Team: [email protected].
The event will be recorded for staff who are unable to attend.
Roll out of reusable instruments
The clinical workstream are no strangers to implementing initiatives that aim to reduce clinical waste and support our Trust goal to reach Net Zero Carbon (direct emissions) by 2040.
Read on our website about how the Royal Sussex County Hospital has become one of the first Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments in the country to trial using reusable suture instruments to improve the service’s environmental impact.