Hospitals in England are dealing with huge buildups of used personal protective equipment (PPE) after a US-based waste removal company struggled to deal with extra demand from the pandemic.
The US firm Stericycle, which operates in the UK, said it had had to carry out maintenance work on incineration capacity for the north of England due to “unprecedented pressure” created by Covid-19. It is working at a “reduced level” in some areas.
Another waste management company has been called in by NHS England to help clear away some of the buildups around hospitals.
But critics have raised concerns about infection control as the problem has occurred during a pandemic. Justin Madders, a shadow health minister, said it was “deeply troubling” that potentially contaminated personal protective equipment was not being “disposed of in a timely manner because of private sector failures”.
He said: “Infection control is vital in clinical settings at all times, and even more so at a time when we need to do absolutely everything to reduce infection levels.” Madders said ministers should step in to make “sure conditions are as safe and hygienic as possible”.
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Source: The Guardian
Author: Sarah Marsh