Yet more needle attacks reported in the press, in Bournemouth and in Swindon. Regrettably, just two of many.
This, and the more general problems associated with discarded needles and other sharps, begs a question – why do we allow access to non-safety engineered needles at all?
It would be a straightforward step to prohibit issue of traditional non-safety hypodermic needles by GPs and pharmacies, clinics and drug support/needle exchange schemes. To make this work, it would be necessary also to prohibit the sale of non-safety needles by first aid suppliers, and by the likes of Amazon who have some particularly difficult questions to answer about that part of their business.
Passive safety needle devices in which the spring-loaded needle retracts automatically into the syringe barrel would be necessary, to make sure that this approach would work well. The additional cost is no longer a valid argument since widespread introduction across the healthcare sector has seen the price fall to that of ordinary non-safety needles.
This wouldn’t be a quick fix and would take time to bite. However, the net result would be a greater degree of safety for all.
Remember, you heard it first on the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum.