DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.620 ISSN:

748 Views of Theatre Staff Regarding Reusable Gowns and Sustainability

E Wheeley, R Jenkins, R Curtis, D Narayanan, C Murray, L Barthelmes
  • Surgery



The three Colleges of Surgeons declared a climate emergency. Reusable gowns are suggested to improve sustainability in theatres.


Reusable gowns were made available to explore the interest of staff in using them. Staff were encouraged to answer a questionnaire about their attitude towards sustainability, their view on the impact of using reusable gowns, and whether they would be prepared to approach a colleague wearing a single use gown for a non-clinical reason (feeling cold).


30 staff members agreed with global warming being important to them, with 4 staff members being indifferent. The same proportion agreed with theatres being an important area of net zero opportunities. 10 staff members consider changes in theatres to only play a minor role in relation to the magnitude of global warming.

26 of 34 colleagues would voluntarily wear reusable gowns, 8 would prefer single-use gowns given a choice.

Replying to the scenario of a staff member not being scrubbed up wearing a single-use gown feeling cold 7 would do the same, 9 would disapprove and raise this to the staff member, 8 would disapprove but not raise this, 3 would disapprove and raise this if there was a hospital policy in place to challenge 'it is ok to ask'.


Most staff (30/34) recognise opportunities in theatre to become carbon neutral. A considerable proportion (26/34) would use reusable gowns if available. We have started work on a logo for a code of conduct of respectful conversations regarding wasteful behaviour (e.g. wearing disposable gowns for non-clinical reasons).

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