Safe Management of Healthcare Waste

A new Department of Health Technical Memoranda publication, Safe management of
healthcare waste, is available for anyone who has responsibility for the
disposal of waste such as that generated in natal care, diagnosis, treatment or
prevention of disease in humans/animals. This includes laboratory cultures,
anatomical waste, sharps waste, medicinal waste, laboratory chemicals and
offensive/hygiene waste from wards or other healthcare areas.

The document has been produced as a best practice guide to the management of
healthcare waste. Healthcare waste refers to any waste produced by, and as a
consequence of, healthcare activities. For the purposes of this document, this
guidance also applies to offensive/hygiene and infectious waste produced in the
community from non-NHS healthcare sources.

Aim of the guidance

The guidance has been produced to provide a framework for best practice waste
management to help healthcare organisations and other producers to meet
legislative requirements.

Who should use the guidance?

The guidance has been written for all those involved in the management of
healthcare waste, and provides practical advice and guidance for waste
producers. While the main body of this guidance focuses on healthcare waste
management issues associated with NHS healthcare practice, its content is also
aimed at all producers of healthcare waste.

Key recommendations

This guidance recommends adopting:

  • a new methodology for identifying and classifying infectious and medicinal
    waste that complies with health and safety, transport and waste regulations.
    The new methodology is described as the "unified" approach. Compliance with the
    unified approach will ensure that producers comply with and go beyond the
    regulatory requirements;
  • a revised colour-coded best practice waste segregation and packaging system.
    Producers may wish to adopt this system to aid the identification and
    segregation of their waste. By adopting the best practice system,
    standardisation can be achieved across the UK;
  • the use of European Waste Catalogue (EWC) codes. The clinical waste
    classification system using Groups A to E has been removed, as it no longer
    reflects appropriate segregation for treatment or disposal and does not easily
    equate to the use of European Waste Catalogue (EWC) Codes, which are now
    mandatory for all waste documentation;
  • an offensive/hygiene waste stream to describe waste that is non-infectious
    (human hygiene waste and sanpro (sanitary protection) waste such as nappies,
    incontinence pads etc).


AplusA-online.de - Source: UK Department of Health (DH)