1.4.20 Clinical Waste Collections during Covid-19
As you know, the clinical waste collection contract continues to be managed by NHS England & NHS Improvement; however, we are seeking your assistance in ensuring that Stericycle’s (SRCL’s) communication is shared with your practices:
In the last week, Stericycle has had a number of requests ranging from additional stock, increased or changing collection frequencies, additional storage and bin requests. Facilitating these requests has been and will continue to be challenging, however, Stericycle is committed to delivering these requests and focussing its support for the NHS customer base first and foremost throughout this crisis. It will also need support, engagement and information, from your practices to channel its services effectively. Please can you ensure that Stericycle is made aware of any site closures or reductions in clinical waste during this period so that collections and deliveries are managed effectively and priority is given to those that are most in need: Tel 0333 2404400 or firstname.lastname@example.org and please also update email@example.com where possible.
Stericycle’s messages regarding actions:
- Temporary stop on the requirement for signatures for consignment notes. (Many sites are understandably refusing to sign these due to to social distancing measures. To support our customers and our drivers we have advised the environmental regulators (EA / NRW / SEPA) of our position and that we have ceased obtaining signatures with immediate effect. We have received acknowledgement of this and advice that they are in the process of formulating an official position statement on duty of care matters including this. Nothing official has been issued at this time though. Regardless, we have taken the decision to proceed with the change anyway, by enacting government policy on social distancing, as we believe the need to act immediately to reduce the risk of spreading infection.)
- The introduction of a temporary “collection suspension” process. This is a key part of our contingency. Drivers will feed back daily any sites within their route that are closed. We have had a high number of these which is impacting on routing vehicle capacity and sites that need servicing the most. We will then contact the individual sites to agree a temporary suspension in services where applicable to allow for effective routing moving forward.
- An aim to manage appropriate reductions in services to non-healthcare related services.
- Working with our wider organisation to utilise additional capacity where needed. Our sister company, Shredit, may be able to support with driver contingency in the event of high levels of driver absence due to self-isolation or illness.
Please also support Stericycle with proactive information relating to your sites with lower volumes and their ability to volunteer some of their capacity or frequency, on a geographic basis, and provide advance notification of any sites with closed or reduced operations. This will also assist in the delivery of smooth services to the sites that need it the most. Please confirm the following?
- If you are requesting additional services, stock or containment, could you reach out to your neighbouring sites who may still be in operation, but perhaps on a much smaller basis to consider their capacity and any frequency reductions or spare containment they may not be utilising
- For the sites identified through our existing collection frequency, if you are happy for us to make a decision for sites we are unable to make contact with? Or advise a point of contact for us to liaise with to confirm this decision.
- Consider and advise on collections for GP surgeries now mostly offering telephone clinics, other clinic reductions for planned care. (*We often go weekly to some of these sites who are already small producers of waste).
- Communicate this proactively to all of your sites where possible and encourage them to be mindful of stock management and requests as the situation continues.
- Ensure all sites have our customer services contact details and that they raise all requests through this channel for the fastest and most appropriate resolution.… 0333 2404400 or firstname.lastname@example.org