University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

The Management of Infectious Healthcare Waste - The Need for a New Approach in the UK.

Rayner, Wendy Elizabeth. (2005) The Management of Infectious Healthcare Waste - The Need for a New Approach in the UK. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (48MB) | Preview


The need for a new definition of infectious healthcare waste in the UK was identified through a review of current regulatory and management regimes and comparisons with International and European approaches. The philosophy of current infectious waste management has been examined and the underlying principles and concepts identified by reference to five assumptions: 1. People receiving healthcare in hospital produce infectious waste; 2. The majority of infectious healthcare waste is produced in hospitals; 3. People living in their own homes do not produce infectious waste; 4. The risks posed are directly proportionate to the hazard; and 5. Clinical waste (infectious waste) poses a greater risk of infection than Household Waste. These five assumptions were examined in relation to healthcare waste characteristics and production trends by reference to published papers, published data and a questionnaire survey of community healthcare waste producers. The five assumptions were shown to be incorrect and two new assumptions were identified: 1. Infectious waste is produced both within and out-with healthcare premises; and 2. The infectious nature of the waste can be determined by a three step assessment methodology described as ‘TOP’ focusing on the type of waste, the likely outcome and the infection pathway. Forthcoming regulatory changes were reviewed, focusing on the UK implementation of the Hazardous Waste Directive (91/689/EEC) and the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR 2005). The need to align the definitions used in forthcoming and current regulation concerned with health and safety, waste and transport has been identified. A new approach to the management of infectious healthcare waste in the UK has been proposed, taking into consideration the regulatory requirements for both hazard and risk assessment, providing a practical classification for infectious waste for UK healthcare practitioners. In addition, a UK best practice colour coding system has been developed based on waste classification and the treatment/disposal requirements of components of the healthcare waste stream. Both the new approach to classification and the colour coding segregation system were subject to extensive peer review and the findings of this dissertation will be incorporated into a UK Joint Agency guidance document titled: ‘Safe Management of Healthcare Waste’, due to be published in 2006.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Rayner, Wendy Elizabeth.
Date : 2005
Additional Information : Thesis (M.Phil.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2005.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 14:37
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 14:43

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800