Clinical Waste Information
The safe disposal of clinical waste is vital for any organisation that produces it on a regular basis and there is certainly plenty of legislation in place that needs to be complied with. From healthcare and dental practices, pharmaceutical companies and even tattoo parlours and some beauticians, if hazardous waste is involved then the right bins and the right disposal have to be put in place.
In times gone by, the clinical waste our hospitals and healthcare practices produced used to be incinerated on site, but with new EU regulations on things like emissions, many find it more cost effective to use a third party disposal service. This has given rise to a growing industry that is specifically aimed at serving the medical sectors and handing their clinical waste.
Types of Clinical Waste
There are lots of different types of clinical waste including body tissue and bodily fluids, sharp instruments such as needles and scalpels, drugs that have gone out of date or aren’t needed anymore, and swabs and dressings that have been used in medical procedures. All of these need to be disposed of safely and sustainably and this often involves incineration.
Find out more about types of clinical waste.
Clinical Waste Equipment
The range of equipment that we use to handle clinical waste has grown in recent years. Specialist, coloured containers are used for different content such as sharps and biological waste. There are also kits for denaturing drugs so that they can’t be consumed and special granules for cleaning up spillages.
Find out more about clinical waste equipment.
Clinical Waste Management
The basic tenets of clinical waste management revolve around segregation (separation), storage, disposal and documentation. These are highly important in making sure that healthcare practices and other organisations meet the current legislation relating to clinical waste. That includes making sure there is a clear audit trail and ensuring that staff are trained to dispose of waste safely and legally.
Find out more about clinical waste management.
Clinical Waste Disposal
All hazardous waste goes to incineration which is either done on site for some hospitals or is more and more tendered out to a clinical waste disposal contractor. Incineration nowadays is generally combined with systems that also produce heat and power which can be carried out on both a small and large scale. Many hospitals outsource their clinical waste disposal because it is more cost effective and helps them stay on the right side of EU emission regulations.
Find out more about clinical waste disposal.
Compliance and Clinical Waste
Much legislation has been introduced for dealing with clinical waste and this is largely driven by EU Waste Directives with which the UK needs to comply. This includes making sure that those who handle the disposal of waste are licensed to do so and that healthcare practices incorporate robust auditing strategies into their operating procedures. Failure to comply with current legislation can lead to fines and criminal prosecution if organisations involved in storage or removal do not demonstrate a duty of care in handling these materials.
Find out more about compliance and clinical waste.
Clinical Waste Disposal Services
Most clinical waste disposal services in the UK are provided by private companies. Healthcare practices will be required to perform a pre-acceptance audit before any clinical waste disposal company can legally provide their service. This was introduced so that practices and disposal services could provide a tailored provision that deals with the clinical waste produced in the most appropriate manner.
Find out more about clinical waste disposal services.