Posted on 30-March-2016   by Imogen Jones

Crowning the ‘Golden Sharps Champion’ of Champions

Golden Sharps AwardsOn 8th March 2016, Leeds Teaching Hospital held their annual ‘Golden Sharps Champion of Champions’ final, where three well-deserving finalists went head-to-head for the much-coveted award. I was delighted to be invited along…

The competition

I was delighted to represent Daniels in the Gledhow Wing at St James’ University Hospital on 8th March where Leeds Teaching Hospital were all set to crown their ‘Golden Sharps Champion of Champions’. The award recognises Trusts’ efforts to improve safe waste disposal and good segregation.

Paul Curotto, Specialist Waster Trainer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals, along with his manager, Kath Senior and colleague Paul Stones, spent the morning prepping for the first Golden Sharps Champions of Champions competition. Nerves were high. All three had dreamt about the final the night before:

  • Paul C  >> no-one turned up,
  • Kath >> only the teams showed up, and
  • Paul S >> that he won!

Paul and his team had awarded 11 ‘Golden Sharps’ awards throughout the year for improvements to department’s waste segregation and innovation in new processes and savings. The three teams shortlisted for the final had each won the title twice previously, so their places in the competition were well deserved.

The finalists

The three teams up for the award were…

babies r us

The Babies R Us team

Babies ‘R’ Us

Ward L44/45 (maternity wards) at Leeds General Infirmary, won one Golden Sharps award for implementing seven waste streams to replace their previous one waste stream, and a second award for their consistent scores at internal and external audits after retraining 140 staff on the new system.

The High Brows

The Bexley Wing Radiology/Fluoroscopy department St James’ University Hospital had to introduce seven different waste streams. We had to look at one procedure that had an offensive waste stream/medicinal/cytotoxic waste produced at the end of the procedure, and an inventive way was made of capturing the waste produced first into a Cytotoxic bag and secondly sealing into a Cytotoxic Sharps container.

The Chapel Apples

The Radiology department at Chapel Allerton Hospital won their Golden Sharps for introducing two new waste streams and implementing a self-audit tool saving £2,880 on their waste bill and, again, consistently scoring above 90% in their waste audits.

Ready for battle

Once the introductions had kicked off the proceedings, the three teams were set up on competition tables, each with their own inventive ‘buzzer’ – namely a horn, a fire bell and a squeaky chicken! The audience of diners and special guests included Julian Hartley, the Trust’s Chief Executive, and Chris Tobin, their Environmental Manager – so no pressure when it came to answering the questions correctly!

Paul Curroto presented the competition, which was broken down into three rounds…

Round 1

This was a timed sharps container assembly round. The teams had a minute to correctly assemble a sharps container, and the quickest team won a bonus point if was assembled correctly! They were given a container, a mix of different coloured lids, a tie and a pen. Their efforts were then ‘audited’ by Chris Tobin, Environmental Manager, to make sure they were assembled safely and correctly.

There wasn’t much in it time wise. The teams were very competitive and keen to impress. Babies R Us and Chapel Apples ended up in joint pole position, with 3 points apiece, and The High Brows were only one point behind them!

Round 2

This questions round gave the teams the chance to earn bonus points. At the end of the quick-fire questions, Babies R Us and The High Brows were neck and neck in second place, so Paul asked the tie breaker question “How would you dispose infectious waste?” The High Brows where the quickest to respond with the correct answer ‘autoclaving’ meaning Babies R Us were sadly eliminated from the competition, but were very worthy third place runners up.

Leeds teaching hospital container saving

Round 3

The buzzers were given a break in the final round. The two remaining teams were asked “How many sharps containers were used in Leeds Teaching Hospital in 2014/15?” They wrote their answers on a piece of paper and the closest answer took the winning title of ‘Golden Sharps Champion of Champions!’ The answer, in case you’re wondering was 139,622.

The winners

Guests at Golden Sharps awards

Leeds Teaching Hospitals CEO, Julian Hartley, had the honour of presenting the ‘Golden Sharps Awards Champion of Champions’ to winners, Chapel Apples.

So, here it was, the moment of truth. Babies R Us were out of the running after the second round, so it was neck and neck between The High Brows and Chapel Apples. In the end, the Chapel Apples pipped The High Brows to the post, taking first place – a fantastic achievement, so it was a big well done all round to them. And a very well done to runners up, The High Brows, who took second place.
Golden Sharps Winners

Julian Hartley CEO, Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Would you like to share your story of good waste segregation with us? Or have you worked closely with our team to achieve something where you work? If so, please get in contact, we’d love to hear your story.

Imogen is the Product Manager for our SHARPSGUARD® range, and our Marketing Manager for the UK & Ireland.