Canvey not clearing needles and clinical waste

Needles and clinical waste are not being collected raising fears about disease and the safety of bin collectors.

Castle Point Council is due to take over the collection of clinical waste in January but residents claim the previous NHS collections have already stopped leaving a gap in service.

A resident suffering Type 1 Diabetes and therefore using  needles has criticised the “shoddy organisation” and was angry when told she could place her needle bin in a black bag for normal collection – given the associated risks.

She said: “I have spoken to the council, to the primary care centre, and to my GP and everyone is saying different things, so what are we supposed to do?

“It is not just diabetics, anyone with cancer who injects morphine will be affected, it is just shoddy all in all.

“The information we have received is just terrible.”

She also raised concerns over the safety of bin collectors if clinical waste is placed in black bins, also adding that Sharps bins are normally recycled.

Castle Point Council confirmed it is taking over the collections from NHS England in January, but is unsure why the Essex Partnership University Trust has stopped collections already.

Castle Point councillor, Jan Payne, said: “It is terrible. I have spoken to residents who use four or five needles a day, and they are very worried.

“This is hazardous waste and needs to be treated as such, not just brushed under the carpet like this.

“It is disgusting, how can you not inform the people affected? How can you have no clear plan? What next? Will our island and beaches be covered in used needles?”

A spokesman for Castle Point Council said: “NHS England has reviewed the clinical waste services it commissions and will be ceasing the funding of sharps waste collections from community pharmacies and collections from residential addresses from the January 1, 2019.

“Castle Point Council is working with NHS to put in place collection arrangements from January 1, 2019.

“Regrettably it appears a community service for the collection of sharps provided at the Canvey Health Centre at the Paddocks by the Essex Partnership University Trust has been withdrawn without notice to NHS England or Castle Point Borough Council.

“In the meantime advice from NHS England is that patients can and should be requesting sharps boxes as part of their prescriptions which will be dispensed with other medication by the pharmacy. Sharps should not be placed directly in to normal black sack collection.”

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