ghp December 2015 | 15 industry insight Essentia Progress in Sterile Services and Beyond Essentia is the in-house directorate at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust, covering a number of non-clinical areas. Tracy Cheung outlines those areas for us and explains why this service is so vitally impor- tant to the trust. “Essentia is all about offering infrastructure services, which includes everything from catering and cleaning to transport and accommodation all the way through to constructing the buildings and maintenance. We also look after all the IT systems for the trust, and maintain a number of properties within our communi- ty projects. “The organisation has been operating for many years, starting life as the Capital Estates Facilities Directorate, then gradually growing to incorporate more facilities until eventually we decided to rename it, asking staff for an appropriate name. They decided upon Essentia, because ultimately what we provide is the essential services which help the trust to keep going.” In 2013 the trust created an offshoot of Essentia as a private limited commercial consultancy firm, owned entirely by Guy’s and St Thomas’ and seeking to offer a number of the organisation’s vital services to other NHS trusts, as well as estates looking for management support. The services offered include management consultancy, strategic development support as well as operational aspects of the organisation’s role such as sterile services. The sterile services department was chosen to be- come a part of this commercial consultancy because of their exemplary work, which primarily revolves around decontaminating the medical devices through- out the trust. As GSST is the second largest NHS trust in the UK, the department cleans as many as 10 million instruments per year for the trust alone, on top of their work for 23 external private sector healthcare providers. As well as sterilisation services, the department also has a manufacturing unit which makes sterile prod- ucts such as flexible endoscopy scopes and dental products, as well as a medical devices unit which sterilises bulky medical devices such as commodes and wheelchairs. Despite their vast workload, the department has continued to grow over the last few years. Anne-Ma- rie Watts, Head of the Sterile Services department, was brought in two years ago to help commercialise and expand the department. This has led to a £5mn investment to create an additional centre and expand the department to allow for the additional commercial work which they have now incorporated, including work for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Initially an incorporated infrastructure service for Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust, the company has now expanded and outsourced a number of departments and consultancy servic- es for GSTT and other trusts. We speak to Tracy Cheung, Head of Marketing and Engagement and Anne-Marie Watts, Head of Sterile Services, to find out more about the exciting new projects the firm is working on.