On the same theme as previous threads relating to Covid-19 infection responsible for the tragic death of two hospital porters, and claims of segregation and waste management deficiencies at vaccination centres affecting waste collection services, Anenta are calling for the Government urgently to vaccinate waste operatives.
It would be nice indeed if everyone was to be vaccinated urgently but most will have to be patient and wait as priority groups are put at the front of the queue. The challenge is almost overwhelming, but seems to be progressing apace.
According to Anenta, if the issue is not addressed, illness among those drivers could slow the vaccine-roll-out and have wider implications for healthcare across the UK.
‘We are close,’ says Anenta’s Managing Director, Graham Flynn, ‘to a tipping point where illness among those trained to collect healthcare and clinical waste could reach such high proportions that the collection of PPE and syringes from vaccination centres could falter, and services to the wider NHS could be seriously affected.
‘We’re already seeing record numbers of drivers calling in sick. In the last week alone, we’ve had to make alternative arrangements for fifteen per cent of all collections, both in relation to vaccination centres and the collection of healthcare waste from GPs, pharmacies and other healthcare settings. That’s only sustainable for so long, which is why the issue needs to be addressed now, without delay.’
Calling from special treatment to expedite protection of employees is not unreasonable, but that responsibility sits squarely with the employer. It is part of good management, staff resourcing with suitable PPE items and all hygiene needs, effective training and periodic supervision.