Decontamination services management
By making sure that medical devices are sterilised, our decontamination services managers are making sure that our patients are protected from infection and contracting viruses.
"I made some wonderful friends and, most of all, enjoyed resolving problems and making sure our patients received a safe service."
Decontamination services are responsible for ensuring that reusable medical devices, such as endoscopes and other surgical devices eg instruments are cleaned, disinfected, sterilised and repackaged to high standards, ready for reusing in operating theatres and other areas of health care.
You’ll also be responsible for planning, training and managing staff, budgets and other resources within the department.
Roles in decontamination services management
Roles here include:
As the most senior manager within this area of healthcare science, you’ll typically:
- be overall responsible for managing the decontamination of medical device service, liaising with other agencies as appropriate
- lead the evaluation of new equipment and methods of working
- oversee the provision of a 24hr, 7 days a week, specialised, service contributing to the safe clinical care of the patient
- manage staff working within the decontamination specialities including interviewing, recruitment, appraisal, continuing professional development (CPD) and performance
- apply professional judgement and utilise specialist skills and detailed scientific knowledge to provide a high quality and timely service
- manage the whole budget for the organisation wide decontamination service
- plan and organise the broad range of activities, processes and procedures conducted by the speciality including future plans and strategies in conjunction with the appropriate colleagues
- work independently in all areas of the service and be able to work as an autonomous practitioner
- work unsupervised and manage workload with minimal managerial direction.
Within your decontamination service, you will have a range of staff including managers working at supervisory and deputy management levels and decontamination technicians.
Working at a senior supervisory or deputy managerial role, you may be given responsibility for some or all of the following tasks:
- quality assurance of the service in compliance with the Medical Device Regulations
- day to day operational management of the service
- ensuring policies and procedures are updated and implemented
- staff training
- attending specialist meetings
- deputising for the senior manager
- recording, interpreting, validating and authorising equipment test results
- supervising decontamination technicians and apprentice decontamination technicians.
Want to learn more?
- Find out about the entry requirements, skills and interests required to work in decontamination services management
- Find out about the training you'll receive for a career as a decontamination services management
Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. Staff in the NHS will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern. As a supervisor in decontamination sciences, you would typically start on AfC band 3, with opportunities to progress with appropriate training, qualifications and experience into managerial positions up to band AfC Band 8
Terms and conditions of service can vary for employers outside the NHS.
With further training and/or experience, you may be able to develop your career further and apply for vacancies in areas such as further specialisation, management, research, or teaching.
Job market information
There are over 200 hundred sterile services departments in England (an average sterile services department will employ 30 staff), with the majority working within the NHS and some working within the private sector. There are also 480+ dental practices undertaking the decontamination of re-usable medical devices and staff undertaking the decontamination of dental medical devices will require the same level of education as both sterile services and endoscopy decontamination staff.
Endoscopy decontamination departments may now employ decontamination technicians in what was previously seen as a nursing role to decontaminate flexible endoscopes and request the on-site decontamination managers to run the decontamination aspect of their service, and there are some instances whereby a separate decontamination facility for flexible endoscopes have been developed under the managerial role of the decontamination manager.
Finding and applying for jobs
When you’re looking for vacancies, there are a number of sources you can use but most vacancies can be found on the NHS Jobs website.
Just some of the current vacancies are below
Find a vacancy
For further information about a career in decontamination science management, please contact: