GP surgeries forced to store clinical waste in toilets

Pulse is reporting that GP surgeries in Derbyshire are being forced to store clinical waste in toilets after missed collections.

Multiple GP surgeries have had to keep clinical waste in their staff toilets after collections from an NHS contractor were delayed.

Doctors in Derbyshire have said problems with incinerators in the area has led to a build-up of waste storage centrally and therefore waste collectors cannot pick up more from the surgeries.

GP leaders in Derby have said the situation is ‘unacceptable’ and a ‘health hazard’, and that the issue is not exclusive to the region.

Treasurer for Derby and Derbyshire LMC, Dr Peter Holden, said: ’I understand one of the waste collectors had its incinerators down for maintenance and then had another incinerator break down.

‘In the weather we’ve had, to have that kind of clinical waste lying around is just not acceptable.’

He added: ‘Normally what you would do is find another contractor and you would send the original contractor the bill. In the health service, the contract isn’t between me and the people who brunt the stuff, it’s between them and the health service. I’m merely left storing it.

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This is however all a bit one sided.

Reasons are given by those who are affronted by the need to store their waste for a little bit longer, and to some extent that is entirely understandable. However, I would wager that backlogged wastes could be removed same day if properly funded. Of course, that would surely be said to be unreasonable: we paid already so just do the job, but how many patients feel the same when struggling to get a GP appointment when they need one? It works both ways!

As an aside, it would be hugely illuminating to audit the affected GP premises. How many are one-man surgeries in a converted two-up two-down with no provision for waste storage. And of those who trade in purpose built premised provided by the NHS, how many have been designed and constructed with adequate waste storage provision?

Rather few. I suspect.


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