The Only National Awards For Non-Medical / Non-Clinical NHS Staff & Volunteers


Award Category:

Estates & Ancillary

Individual or Team Nomination?


Qualifying Qualities

In these challenging times, nominators were asked to show how the nominee had demonstrated the following qualities:

  • Exceptional work ethic - going above and beyond their job description, especially in the past 12 months.
  • Outstanding achievement/s in work or outside of the organisation where relevant.
  • Drive for innovation and proactive leadership in these challenging times.
  • High level of interpersonal skills, such as kindness, empathy, loyalty and thoughtfulness to staff and patients.
  • A resilience considering Covid to their role and to the health and wellbeing of their colleagues.

Nominators Answer

Nominee's story :

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Specialised Surgical Decontamination Unit (SSDU), is responsible for the effective, safe and efficient decontamination (washing, disinfection & sterilisation) of a wide range of reusable medical devices for patient care at both WWL and in partnership with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. As SSDU is not based on-site at either of the hospitals they serve, they genuinely are a ‘hidden gem’ or an ‘unsung hero’ as, despite being an integral part of patient safety for both Trusts, many of people they serve or the staff they assist do not realise the work and dedication that is carried out until they come and witness the processes and work that they do. The team provide a vital service to WWL and Salford Royal and the amount of knowledge they have as a team is invaluable. Many of the staff have worked in the department for over a decade, which shows the dedication and loyalty they have. SSDU isn’t just a team or a department, it’s a family that support each other. The team at SSDU work incredibly hard, keeping the patient at the forefront of everything they do. Based in Bolton, the team works 365 days a year, 24 hours Monday-Friday and 12 hours at the weekend. The team complete the decontamination process on all devices, but also must dismantle, lubricate and reassemble instruments, which as you can imagine, takes a lot of skill and knowledge to do! The training process for a new starter is six months, which evidences how in depth the processes are that team carry out. SSDU have had three consecutive years of external audits, with no issues raised, which is a huge achievement for the team and WWL. Towards the end of 2023, the unit also received a full re-certification from this year’s external audit with only one minor non-conformance noted. The team at SSDU have a dynamic response to our customer’s needs and are always on hand for any queries, be it day or night. During the pandemic, a lot of the staff at SSDU were re-deployed throughout various departments within WWL and provided support to all areas of the Trust, such as porters, stores, catering and switchboard, to name but a few. On average, the SSDU processes over 200,000 surgical sets per year, containing up to 100 instruments, with a workforce of just under 100 technicians, and processes sets within 36 hours of receiving them into the building. Despite the upheaval and disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic caused, SSDU staff have continued to show their dedication and due diligence with the patient right at the heart of every set they process.

Supporting Documents

Please click on the documents below to view the supporting documents.

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