Sharps and clinical waste

Sharps box

Following inspections conducted by local service delivery management and the IPC Team, it is clear that Trust improvements are required concerning the utilisation of sharps boxes.

The two posters available to download below show instructions for the use of sharps including:

  • What goes in them (and what does not).
  • Labelling – At the start of use and at disposal.
  • How to assemble the boxes.
  • How to lock the boxes.
  • When the boxes should be disposed.

Boxes not being labelled at the start of use is one of the most consistently found non-compliances in relation to waste. Local monitoring and governance of this should facilitate improvements and many areas are using huddle boards to disseminate this information.

These instructions are in line with the ‘Hazardous waste regulations’ and are legal requirements.

These posters can replace the existing two sharps posters that are found in your clinical waste areas.

Another point to raise regarding waste is that yellow waste bags are being found on various stations and in some vehicles. All vehicles and stations (including PTS) should now only be using the orange waste bags for clinical waste (with the exception of the HART teams), and it is imperative that waste streams are not mixed. Using the correct waste streams reduces the risk of cross contamination which in turn improves the safety for patients and colleagues. Correct disposal of waste also reduces costs to the Trust and reduces the negative environmental impact potentially caused by incineration emissions. Not complying to these regulations can leave the Trust open to fines.

If you have any issues regarding waste, please contact either the Estates department,, in the first instance or for general queries the IPC Team,, can also advise.

Thank you all for your cooperation.
Published on behalf of the Estates and IPC Team.

Published 19th September 2019

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