After the barrage of complaints and very real safety implications following Fenland Council decision to halt clinical waste collections due to a ‘lack of funding’ they now look set to operate a free sharps boxes collection service at selected pharmacies and GP surgeries.
A report to a Fenland Cabinet meeting recommends that from April 1 next year the council should provide free sharps box drop-off points in local pharmacies and most GP surgeries.
It explains the move is necessary after NHS England announced earlier in the summer that it would no longer be providing the service, which it has provided for decades, and was returning the responsibility back to local council. Clinical waste disposal is a statutory obligation of local authorities.
Originally Fenland announced it would be introducing charges of £8 to collect clinical waste from individuals’ homes which prompted a massive public backlash and resulted in a petition being presented to September’s full council meeting.
As a result it was agreed there would be no charge for clinical waste collections until the matter was returned to full council to consider all the options. Tomorrow’s discussion seeks the endorsement of recommendations being made to the full council meeting, which will follow later in the afternoon.
This seems to be a sensible and overdue move in the right direction. We now must keep fingers crossed that all domiciliary sharps users have the ability to get to their GOP or pharmacy, have someone to take their sharps waste on their behalf, or can still benefit from doorstep collection.