The NHS COVID-19 waste management standard operating procedure has been updated again, with version 4, published on 05 January 2021. The document sets out the waste management approach for all healthcare facilities, including primary care facilities and testing facilities in England.
It provides guidance for a simple and pragmatic approach to the implementation of the safe management of healthcare waste, to ensure that critical waste disposal resources are not exhausted during the COVID-19 emergency response. The document urges healthcare organisations to work together across organisations to collectively deliver waste management services during this period of expanded demand.
While HTM 07-01 must still be applied across healthcare facilities when re-opening services for non-COVID-19 patients, this COVID-19 procedure needs to be applied for COVID-19 areas.
The key changes in this version 4 update include guidance around waste relating to COVID-19 vaccination programmes and vaccination sites. It is important to note that vaccination waste is classified differently depending on where the vaccination is delivered
- Vaccinations delivered in Hospitals or GP Surgeries: classification is 18-01-03*/18-01-09 2.
- Vaccinations delivered in Mass Vaccination sites, in the community and in care homes: classification is 18-01-01/18-01-09.
The sharps waste, while non- hazardous, must still be disposed of at a hazardous waste/clinical waste incinerator or other suitably permitted facility.
The document also contains new guidance for sites conducting lateral flow testing (LFT) and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), as well as for other sites carrying out testing such as private residences (for example halls of residence, assisted living etc).
Finally there is guidance for PCR and LFT undertaken by healthcare professionals in testing locations. These can include acute and community hospitals, GP surgeries, outpatient clinics, hospices and social care (adult nursing care).
The full guidance document can be viewed here - https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/covid-19-waste-management-standard-operating-procedure/
Waste management training at Eastwood Park
For those who require training around the Management and disposal of healthcare waste (HTM 07-01), Eastwood Park delivers a focused 2-day course, aimed at middle/senior managers who are responsible for waste management.
It will provide attendees with an understanding of the legislation, codes of practice, and technical guidance to enable them to manage the various waste streams in their organisations.