We are the Category Tower Service Provider for NHS Supply Chain: Sterile Intervention and Associated Consumables.

We manage 10 frameworks:

Examination Gloves and Surgical Gloves

Examination Gloves and Surgical Gloves

Examination gloves are worn during patient contact where there is a risk of exposure to potentially contaminated fluids and form part of the Infection Control Universal Precautions guidance.

They are manufactured from materials including nitrile, vinyl or latex and can be sterile or non-sterile. Vinyl and nitrile examination gloves are made from synthetic materials and are latex free. Latex gloves are made from natural rubber. The gloves can be used on either hand and are available in sizes from extra small to extra-large.

We also supply examination gloves that have undergone additional testing to enable them to be worn during the administration of chemotherapy drugs and where there may be contact with a substance that has a COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002) implication eg preparation of medication, use of cleaning products.

Sterile surgical gloves are worn to protect the patient during a sterile invasive procedure. They also protect the clinician from exposure to potentially infectious materials. The gloves are either latex or non-latex. Surgical gloves have more precise sizing – being either left or right – providing improved precision and sensitivity. All suppliers awarded to the gloves framework comply with the Labour Standards Assurance System (LSAS) which ensures good labour standards are in place throughout our supply chain.

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Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery, or keyhole surgery, is a surgical technique used to make smaller incisions to allow instrument access, via one or several small incisions to the skin.

Once the incisions are made, a small camera is fed into the body and the image is transferred on to a screen in theatre for the surgeon to see. The surgeon can then insert their laparoscopic surgical tools and carry out the necessary procedure, using the camera for guidance, without the need to make a large incision in the patient’s abdomen. These products are typically used in theatres.

A hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the womb (uterus). The framework covers all consumable products needed to perform laparoscopic and hysteroscopic procedures.

Products include energy devices, surgical stapling devices, trocars, clip appliers/clips, laparoscopic instruments, endometrial ablation systems and hysteroscopic accessories.

The advantages of minimally invasive surgery include being less traumatic for the patient, a lower risk of infection, a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time, less pain and bleeding after the operation, and reduced scarring.

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Patient Temperature Management

These products are used for patient warming, cooling and recording temperatures using temperature probes during surgical procedures.

Keeping patients warm improves patient outcomes – reducing the number of complications associated with unintended hypothermia, helping wounds to heal, giving more rapid recovery from anaesthetic, and a speedier return to normal mobility.

Patient cooling following incidents such as cardiac arrest or in neonates improves patient outcomes by protecting vital organs and neurological function.

Products include patient warming blankets (both forced air and a simple blanket placed over the patient), blood and fluid warming equipment and consumables, patient temperature management equipment and consumables including temperature sensors and probes.

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Pre-Operative Skin Preparation

These products are all used as part of the preparation process for surgery, and ensure better patient care, comfort and safety. For example, shaving the patient, marking the patient, and cleaning the hands of the medical staff.

Products include clippers and clipper heads, razors, skin disinfectants, scrub brushes and skin markers.

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Procedure Packs

Procedure packs are a collection of components used to complete a specific task. They are sterilised and wrapped to protect them during transit and storage.

They are used in a variety of health care settings (eg operating theatres, departments/ward and community), and are a more efficient and cheaper solution than picking and storing components ‘off the shelf’.

Types include bespoke packs, stock packs and national specification packs in these areas:

  • Cardiology (interventional radiology) packs
  • Surgical packs (used in theatres)
  • Community packs
  • Instrument packs
  • Procedure packs (eg line insertion packs, catheterisation or cannulation)
  • Regional anaesthesia packs

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Single Use Theatre Protective Clothing and Associated Equipment

These products include garments and accessories used during a surgical procedure to protect the patient and ensure that the operating field remains sterile and includes:

  • Surgical gowns
  • Surgical drapes
  • Surgical face masks
  • Theatre caps
  • Scrub wear
  • Overshoes

The framework also includes Personal Protective Equipment items to protect the user from the environment and includes respirator face masks, isolation gowns and coveralls.

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Surgical Instruments

These products are used extensively across the healthcare community and include:

  • Single use surgical instruments and single use surgical instrument packs
  • Scalpel blades, scalpel handles and disposable scalpels
  • Single use suction tubes
  • Self-retaining retraction systems
  • Sterile single use plastic forceps
  • Reusable instruments
  • Recyclable services

All suppliers adhere to the Labour Standards Assurance System (LSAS), ensuring we provide an ethically sustainable range of products.

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Surgical Mesh, Fixation Devices and Bulking Agents

Surgical mesh products are used by surgeons in theatres and day surgery units. It is a woven sheet which is used as either a permanent or temporary support for organs and other tissues during surgery.

The meshes are used in a variety of surgeries and reconstructive work including hernia and abdominal repairs, and reconstructive work such as breast reconstruction or pelvic organ prolapse.

Products include:

  • Standard flat mesh
  • Specialist mesh (biologic, pre-cut, contour, self-fixating, biologic hybrid, synthetic hybrid)
  • Fixation devices
  • Stress incontinence mesh and bulking agents
  • Products which are used with mesh fixation such as staples, glues and self-fixation mesh systems.

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Tray Wrap and Sterilisation Equipment

These products are used in centralised, and department-based instrument sterilisation. They allow staff to monitor the efficiency of a sterilisation process and prevent instruments becoming re-contaminated during storage. These include:

  • Indicators
  • Pouches
  • Reels
  • Towels
  • Tray and instrument wraps

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Wound Closure

Sutures, staples, tissue adhesives and wound closure strips are used across the healthcare community to close wounds or internally for tissue approximation.
They include products that bind together the edges of a wound or surgical incision to allow it to heal. Sutures and staples can be used internally within body cavities and externally.
Haemostats are products used within the body to reduce bleeding. They work with the body’s normal clotting mechanism within the blood stream.

They include:

  • Haemostats
  • Skin stapling and extractors
  • Sterile adhesion barriers
  • Sterile suture needles
  • Sutures
  • Tissue adhesives
  • Wound closure strips

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