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Issue:- 19 August 2010


MISS England, Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge has been putting North West winners through their paces in preparation for the final.

9 of the regionís beauty queens, including Miss Southport, attended basic training with the soldier dubbed ''Combat Barbie'' at Southportís boutique hotel the Vincent.  Before Katrina handed over her crown, she wanted to inspect the platoon of hopefuls, and ensure they were worthy of the role.

The recruits were challenged to convey how they would combat the catwalk as well as being offered helpful advice for the interview and talent sections of the competition.

She was joined by the Miss England Choreographer Lisa Powell, Modelzed Agency owner Kate Solomons, Miss England regional organiser and host Mark Jones, Liverpool PR agency Paver Smith and Southport photographer Paul Fisher.

Katrina said:- ďMiss England has been a fantastic experience for me, but before I return to my duties in the army I wanted to give the girls a little taste of what it will be like for them if they walk away with this yearís crown.  Iím used to strict training in my role, but usually Iím at the other side of the orders, so it was great to take control and get to teach the girls all Iíve learnt from my time as Miss England.  The boot camp was all just a bit of fun, but I really hope it gave the girls the advice and confidence they need to winĒ.

The national Miss England finals will take place on the 1 September 2010 at The Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel NEC. For the first time in 22 years, The Active Channel (Sky channel 281) will be broadcasting the national finals.

Trust invests £1.2m in cleaning medical instruments

A hospital trust has splashed out £130,000 on four new dishwashers.  But the hi-tech machines aren't in the kitchens to shift baked on lasagne. Instead they're part of a £1.2m investment to keep medical instruments clean and sterile at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals.  The newly refurbished sterilisation and disinfection unit at Southport hospital will handle 900 sets of instruments on average from across the Trust every week.

Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said:- "The rebuilding of this department is another example of how the Trust is committed to investing in the highest quality services to benefit our patients.  Some organisations choose to outsource this service which can result in a loss of control over quality. Our patients can be sure all our equipment is thoroughly cleaned and sterilised and checked at every stage to meet our extremely high standards."

The project was managed by the Trust Estates and Facilities Department and overseen by its director Steve Taylor.

Trust Decontamination Manager Robbie Cormie added:- "The department has been totally redesigned to reflect the flow of the work and to provide the highest quality equipment and working environment. The new unit is eco-friendly and totally latex-free. It is something we are extremely proud of."

The washer-disinfector machines use special alkaline detergent and ultra-clean water that heat the instruments up to 93C before drying them at 110C.  After the initial wash, staff reassemble and check the instruments. They are then packed and sterilised at 135C using steam which, due to the properties of the special packing materials used, keeps them sterile until they are needed again.

The room where the instruments are packed is cleaner than an operating theatre, exceeding the British and European standards for the manufacturing of medical devices. In order to achieve this, staff wear specially laundered clothing and every aspect of the room is continuously monitored to ensure that it stays exceptionally clean.

Each process in the department is computer-controlled and every cycle is archived to the hospital computer network. Each set of instruments can then be tracked to individual patients.

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