Hospitals' pounds 10m waste

Hospitals could save millions of pounds across the National Health Service if they took a more efficient and systematic approach to sorting waste. A report by the Audit Commission also warns that some hospitals need to adopt safer practices when it comes to handling and transferring clinical waste which includes bloodbags, human tissue, infectious material and used syringes.

Acute hospitals in England and Wales spend pounds 30m a year on waste disposal. But trusts are paying more than they need by not sorting different types. A more systematic approach and better contract management could save pounds 10m it is estimated.

9 Getting Sorted: The Safe and Economic Management of Hospital Waste, pounds 15, from Audit Commission Publications, Bookpoint Ltd, 39, Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14 4TD. Glenda Cooper