The NHS has announced a new sustainable waste management framework. With the help of waste companies like Suez UK, it is hoped the framework will better process waste in a “cost-effective and sustainable manner”. NHS Shared Business Service principal category manager, Emma Clyne described sustainability in healthcare waste management as a “‘nice to have’ position to a focal objective.”
Currently, NHS providers produce approximately 156,000 tonnes of clinical waste a year, which has “a significant environmental impact and is associated with high running costs and carbon emissions”. The ‘Sustainable Healthcare Recycling & Waste Management’ framework aims to cut down this figure and reduce carbon emissions linked to waste management by 80% before 2032.
The agreement is a collaborative effort between NHS Shared Business Services and NHS trusts in Bolton, Greater Manchester, and Pennine Care. It covers a wide range of services, including recycling and waste consultancy, clinical healthcare waste and hazardous waste. Clyne said:
Our framework agreement offers an easily accessible and compliant procurement route with the very latest sustainable waste management offerings and sustainable management expertise obtainable."
The NHS is also working with “carefully vetted vendors” who will help the framework run. Clyne noted the importance of reliable specialists to help with waste management in NHS trusts and the wider public sector, who often operate with “very stretched resources”. She said, “they struggle to find the resource and capacity for specialist research as well as the ensuing procurement.” The framework agreement will last from October 2023 until 2025.