We are pleased to successfully launch a new e-learning programme for the healthcare sector, which is one of the first of its kind for the UK healthcare sector. The course is also being expanded to cover both COVID-19 and the disposal of sharps, a critical requirement currently during the vaccination rollout.
The online Health Waste Management CPD-accredited course covers the complete healthcare waste chain and has already been taken up by staff from more than 48 organisations across the country.
We have designed the programme to ensure best practice in clinical waste management and to keep health service organisations compliant.
The course has also been designed to keep employees in our sector as safe as possible by raising awareness of the risks and penalties for incorrect waste management.
Given healthcare settings are significant producers of waste, our course aims to educate staff across the sector to keep waste to a minimum to therefore reduce the impact that it has on the environment.
The five-module programme covers the complete waste journey, from the healthcare organisation to processing and treatment off site.
The modules of the course are:
• Introduction to Waste Management
• Waste Audit and Review
• Waste Segregation
• Waste Storage, Transport & Treatment
• Bio Systems Reusable Sharps Containers
We will also be launching additional modules on COVID-19 and vaccination waste which will be introduced in March. These cover segregation, packaging, collection and processing of a wide range of PPE and medical equipment including dressings, swabs, wipes, gloves, gowns, masks, blood bags, vials, vaccination needles and syringes. This element is awaiting CPD accreditation, however a certificate will be issued to all successful participants.
All participants can access a comprehensive library of guides and other information produced by leading bodies, including the Chartered Institution of Waste Management, Environment Agency and Environmental Services Association.
The programme has launched at a crucial time for health services. At the end of 2020, the NHS unveiled its plans to become the first national health service in the world to become net zero. It is also facing significant waste management challenges in the wake of the pandemic with waste streams increasing significantly due to vaccination rollout and well as from the increased use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and test swabs.
The e-learning programme is available free of charge to all healthcare customers of Stericycle which includes more than 200 NHS organisations. The company is planning to widen availability to other healthcare organisations.
Dawn Hall and Anna Leite are two examples of staff working on the frontline in the clinical waste sector who have benefitted from the Healthcare Waste Management E-learning course. They have both successfully completed the programme.
Dawn Hall, Waste and Decommissioning Manager at Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust said: “This is a good and easy way to provide waste management training for staff in an NHS setting.”
Anita Leite, Estates Energy and Waste Officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said: “I think it is a very good course, very intuitive. I particularly liked the real example cases that were provided.”
Further information is available here.