14 February 2002
The NHS is to co-ordinate the procurement of hospital waste management nationally in a bid to keep costs down.
More than 200 trusts have backed a proposal by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (Pasa) for co-ordination of £18 million-worth of clinical waste disposal contracts throughout the country.
Pasa's waste strategic implementation group will help to establish regional consortia to cut transportation costs by sharing local suppliers.
Currently there is no co-ordinated procurement structure for waste disposal services. Authorities use a variety of consultancy services and either individual or consortia purchasing.
Pasa wants to split clinical waste, which costs about £300 per tonne to dispose of, and domestic waste, which ranges between £40 and £60 a tonne.
Helen MacCarthy, senior buyer, estates and maintenance, at Pasa, said separating the two was vital to cut costs.
"Most contracts involve a mixture of the two, but trusts are not looking at them together as total waste management," she said.