Free collection of medical sharps from Peterborough homes set to end

The free collection of sharps for medical use from Peterborough homes is set to end.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 5:00 am

The cash-strapped city council is planning to begin charging £8 per collection for the service, although it will also fund pharmacies to take clinical sharps from residents without cost.

The proposal will mostly impact self-treating people with diabetes.

The council said the decision follows NHS England no longer providing the service, meaning it now has to provide the funding itself.

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It stated: “This new collection model will provide residents with an improved disposal service as the pharmacy drop off model will be free of charge to Peterborough residents and will provide the customer with greater choice, of either returning sharps boxes back through the local pharmacy network free of charge or arranging a doorstep collection from the household at a charge of £8 per collection.

“If they are physically unable to get to a pharmacy to deposit the sharps then this will be assessed and a doorstep collection may be provided free of charge in exceptional circumstances.”

Currently, 60 properties have monthly collections of clinical sharps and 20 properties have a weekly offensive waste collection (which includes swabs and dressings), costing £5,500 a year.

But with NHS England no longer funding the service the change has been put forward.

In total, 18 pharmacies have agreed to act as a disposal point at an annual cost of £10,800 (£600 per pharmacy).

The council said continuing to collect sharps for free would cost it around £25,000 a year which it said is “regarded as undesirable on the grounds of cost”.

It stated: “The model being recommended represents the most economical option for the council whilst still ensuring residents can access the service by providing a network of collection points in the city.”

The £8 collection fee will cover the contractor cost and associated booking arrangements/administration, it added.

The decision to implement the change is expected to be signed off shortly.