Work begins on new hospital unit in Colchester
Work has started on a £5m clinical sterilisation unit in Essex.
The Hospital Sterilisation and Decontamination Unit (HSDU) will serve both the Colchester General and Essex County hospitals.
The building, located on the Colchester General site, will replace the existing unit used to process surgical instruments.
Set to open in July 2012, it will be larger than the present building and use more up-to-date equipment.
At the unit the instruments are cleaned and decontaminated, before being inspected, packed and sterilised then returned for use in the theatres.
Nick Chatten of the Colchester Hospital University NHS Trust said it had outgrown its current building.
He said: "When it is complete it will mean Colchester will have one of the most efficient HSDUs in the NHS in the east of England.
"It will benefit from the latest advances in technology and substantially reduce water consumption in comparison to the machines currently in use."