Written by Megan Chamberlain
11 Jun 2021

Healthcare Waste Management Guidelines for Barnet, England

Barnet, a northern suburb of London and one of the most populated, enjoys just over 380,000 residents. Healthcare services in the borough include the Barnet Hospital. The hospital, established in 1828, is part of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust Group. The borough also boasts a number of private hospitals and clinics. Healthcare waste management guidelines for Barnet, England are important to know, understand, and follow. Compliance is key to not only safety, but to reduce the risks of potential penalties and fines for non-compliance.

One of the most important guidelines when it comes to healthcare waste management, in Barnett and facilities throughout England, is to know your local or municipal guidelines as well as federal regulations. Barnet governmental agencies provide some guidelines when it comes to clinical waste and offers very clear definitions between hazardous clinical waste and non-hazardous clinical waste.



1 / Following the Rules for Proper Healthcare Waste Management in Barnet

2 / Barnet Definitions on Hazardous versus Non-Hazardous Clinical Waste

3 / Dispose of Sharps Waste Properly

4 / Determining Waste Classification

5 / About Storage, Packaging, and Transportation of Healthcare Waste

6 / Sharpsmart Provides Guidance and Resources

Following the Rules for Proper Healthcare Waste Management in Barnet

Before any healthcare facility can follow the rules for proper and compliant healthcare waste management, you’ve got to source guidelines and regulations. These can change dramatically between healthcare specialties and care scenarios. For example, household healthcare waste is not handled the same way as hospital-generated healthcare waste, even though some of it is similar. The same applies to pharmaceutical, cytotoxic, or sharps waste, among other waste streams.

Medical waste management regulations for all healthcare facilities, including those in Barnet are readily available from UK.gov as well as numerous publications. For example, just a few include the:

In a nutshell, healthcare waste management for Barnet, England and other health care facilities and services throughout the country are designed to ensure that any health-related activity does not pose risk of infection or contamination to others. That means paying close attention to safety legislation and infection control, waste and other environmental legislation guidelines, and transport legislation. Governmental websites stress the importance of waste management and compliance, especially in waste segregation. That means properly classifying wastes and their types and how they should be stored. Don’t neglect important rules for proper processes when it comes to healthcare waste transportation and disposal.

Remember: Statutory duty of care is applicable to everyone involved in the waste management chain.

Barnet Definitions on Hazardous versus Non-Hazardous Clinical Waste

Differences in terminology defining waste streams can have a huge impact on how they are handled and stored. That’s why it’s important to turn to local or municipal authorities first. In Barnet, hazardous clinical waste is defined as one that consists partly or wholly of:

  • Syringes, needles, or other sharp instruments
  • Blood or bodily fluids
  • Swabs, and/or dressings
  • Any infectious waste that is likely to be or known to be contaminated, which (unless rendered safe) may prove hazardous to any person coming into contact with it
  • Drugs or other pharmaceutical products

Non-hazardous clinical waste (in home environments and in some medical facilities) can include but is not limited to:

  • Incontinence bed pads
  • Incontinence pads and nappies (unless the child or adult has a medical condition that requires the waste to be treated as a hazardous clinical waste)
  • Stoma bags

When in doubt, contact local or municipal government councils or agencies for clarification. Healthcare waste management activities involve several regulatory agencies, including those involved in infection control, health and safety legislation, environmental waste legislation, and transport legislation.

Dispose of Sharps Waste Properly

Sharps waste should always be handled with extreme caution. A number of risks are associated with non-compliant sharps waste disposal that include blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B or C as well as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). What do the regulations have to say about sharps injuries and risks and how to avoid them? Quite a few, including:

  • The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act of 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002
  • Sharps Instruments and Healthcare Regulations 2013 (regulations implemented by the EU Council directive regarding prevention of sharps injuries in hospital and healthcare sectors.) Access the Health and Safety (Sharps Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 here to download a free PDF copy.

When uncertain of guidelines for Barnet healthcare waste management processes or inability to find proper identification and resources for specific issues, refer to governmental guidelines when it comes to healthcare waste definitions and classifications.

Determining Waste Classification

In the majority of healthcare facilities throughout the UK, healthcare waste items are to be clinically and specifically assessed by the producer at the time the medical waste is generated. Identification or classification of healthcare waste generally falls into three basic categories based on their properties:

  • Infectious
  • Chemical
  • Medicinal

If the healthcare waste has none of these properties, determine whether it is simply offensive or hygiene waste. Each classification and type of medical waste must be properly segregated into appropriate waste receptacles, bags, boxes, or bins. These must be disposed of separately and are classified differently.

The Health Technical Memorandum 07-01 (Chapter 4) provides guidelines on how to initiate assessment of healthcare waste streams. Each of the categories listed above undergo different segregation, packaging, and labelling processes.

About Storage, Packaging, and Transportation of Healthcare Waste

Barnet, England hospitals or any healthcare facility in the country should refer to the HSE’s page regarding biosafety and Transportation of Infectious Substances. Guidelines are clear in regard to legislation, which includes four basic steps involved in safe transportation of any infectious materials. They include:

  • Classification
  • Packaging
  • Labelling
  • Transporting

These guidelines provide specific instructions, categories, and requirements for storage and transportation. For example, when it comes to labelling, guidelines specify that any package that contains an infectious substance should be clearly marked with:

  • Adequate shipping name/definition, for example “infectious substance, affecting humans”
  • Appropriate UN number
  • Appropriate warning label

The guidelines also provide detailed instructions for documentation requirements, packing instructions, mitigation procedures, and flowchart guidelines aiding in the classification of infectious substances.

Sharpsmart Provides Guidance and Resources

Sharpsmart provides a number of resources, education, products, and services to ensure safe management of healthcare waste. We provide cost-effective and sustainable products specifically designed and colour-coded for compliant and efficient healthcare waste segregation, handling, and disposal. We know and understand the guidelines and are dedicated not only to improving safety for healthcare providers and facilities, but reducing the amount of healthcare waste that ends up in local landfills. For all your healthcare waste needs and to ensure compliance in your medical waste disposal processes, call us today.

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Megan Chamberlain

Megan Chamberlain

Content Marketing & Multimedia Specialist

With a little bit of knowledge about a lot of things and a quick wit, Megan was the recipient of the Daniels Pun-Master Award 2017 and is the go-to girl for all things compliance.