Sterilisation of Surgical Instruments

Media release

15 February 2019

The Ministry of Health has convened a teleconference of DHB Chief Medical Officers and Directors of Allied Health to share the information gathered to date from the Hawke's Bay DHB incomplete sterilisation issue.

The information being shared is preliminary, and precedes the results of a DHB investigation currently underway.

At the request of the Minister of Health Dr David Clark, the teleconference was addressed by the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and the Ministry's Chief Medical Officer Dr Andrew Simpson.

Dr Simpson says DHBs follow similar processes around sterilisation and use similar types of equipment.  

"It was important that we shared what happened at Hawke's Bay, discussed the DHB investigation and when we can expect more definitive information," says Dr Simpson.

The incident continues to be responded to and investigated by the Hawke's Bay DHB. 

"The Ministry supports the approach being taken by the Hawke's Bay DHB.   We are encouraging all DHBs to ensure their own checks and processes are being appropriately adhered to. Today's teleconference reinforced to us that this is already happening."

Dr Simpson says this is the start of a conversation with DHB clinical leaders which will be continued  as more information is shared from Hawke's Bay DHB.  

Any final recommendations will also be shared once the investigation is completed.