UNISON welcomes HSE report on needlesticks

Report finds 83% of organisations failing to comply with sharps regulations

UNISON has welcomed a report from the Health and Safety Executive on its inspection campaign on the prevention and management of injuries from sharps (needlesticks) in NHS organisations.

UNISON and the Safer Needles Network has been pushing for this as a way of re-enforcing the sharps regulations that UNISON had successfully campaigned for.

The chief findings of the report were that:

  • health and safety breaches were identified in 90% of organisations visited;
  • 83% failed to fully comply with the sharps regulations;
  • improvement notices were issued to 45% of the organisations that were visited.

UNISON assistant national officer Robert Baughan said that the union welcomed the report, together with the work of the Health and Safety Executive in enforcing the sharps regulations.

“UNISON and the Safer Needles Network had long campaigned for this legislation to protect NHS staff from these unnecessary injuries and the risk of potentially fatal infections,” he noted.

“The report highlights the work that still remains to be done by NHS trusts in enforcing this legislation and protecting staff from these injuries”.