Clinical waste health fears in cash cuts: VOTE

By Gareth Dennison | 18/03/2011 0 comments

Clinical waste health fears in cash cuts: VOTE

PLANS to save money by making the sick and elderly use their black bins to dispose of sensitive clinical waste will create a health risk, it has been claimed

Rotherherham Borough Council says scrapping special collections of incontinence waste will save £80,000 a year and officials deny there are any dangers to health.

The council adds that special safeguards have been put in place for the disposal of hazardous clinical waste and the prevention of infections.

But independent Anston parish councillor Stuart Thornton says the ending of the old service, under which such waste was put out for collection in special yellow bags, could spread dangerous bugs such as MRSA and C-difficile.

What do you think of the council's decision to scrap the waste collections? Use the "write a comment" buttons to post your views. Click here to join our poll.

And he said the elderly and vulnerable were being "targeted" for cuts.

CllrThornton, of The Oval, North Anston, who plans to stand for a seat on the borough council in May’s elections, said: “This cut to our public services came without consultation, but there again ‘they are old and won’t complain.’

“We all have a moral duty to protect our disabled, elderly and vulnerable people.

“Is it safe practice to put this waste into bins which could possibly contain MRSA or C-difficile?

“Why were these products unsafe last month and, as if by magic, they are safe now?”

A borough council spokesman said that waste such as sanitary towels, nappies and incontinence pads which was not from a patient with an infectious disease, was classed as household waste and could be mixed in with normal domestic refuse.

He said that it should be bagged before being put in the bin.

The spokesman added: “If any individual is being treated by a healthcare professional and it is deemed the waste is hazardous, this waste will be collected separately on the clinical waste service.

“In the case of a person with MRSA,  this is classed as an infectious disease and thus would be dealt with on the clinical waste service.

“The council has considered the issue of separating collections previously, however reluctantly this matter has had to be addressed due to spiralling disposal costs for hazardous waste.

“Previously such waste mixed with hazardous waste attracted a gate fee in the region of £720 per tonne.”

My fears for Rotherham patients, by Wentworth and Dearne MP and shadow health minister John Healey. SEE THIS WEEK'S ADVERTISER.


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