GPT Pharmaceutcal waste

How effective waste management can lead to greater efficiency in the healthcare sector

You only have to read a newspaper or turn on the news to see the NHS is struggling to meet the balance between demand for healthcare services and funding. The NHS faces an unprecedented financial dilemma: the supply of funding is struggling to match the growing rate of demand for healthcare.

The financial challenge for the NHS is immense, it includes funding variations, in terms of treatment areas, procedures and regions, differing approaches to budget management across the regions and the impact of rising demand for services on healthcare costs. All this is against a background of pressure to make progress and deliver efficiency.

GPT Waste Management has published a whitepaper which aims to provide a reference tool for Healthcare Estates Managers and Finance Directors, the whitepaper will help to demonstrate the opportunities for cost savings through the implementation of effective improved waste management strategies.

It is based on a simple example, a new approach and the impact it has had on a healthcare organisation’s bottom line.

Spend in the NHS can be simplistically split into four main areas:

  • Drug Costs
  • Planned Care
  • Unplanned Care
  • Operational Costs

These budgets are viewed often in isolation; however, there are financial, operational and environmental gains to be enjoyed by putting waste management higher on the management agenda. In this White Paper, GPT Waste explain using a strong example, that by changing the shape of the decision-making process for procuring waste services across the healthcare sector, valuable funds can be released from budgets to be re-invested where it matters most… on patient care and service improvement.

The NHS spends in excess of £700m each year on waste disposal. How waste is managed within the healthcare sector has a direct impact on the bottom line for each healthcare organisation.

Poor management of medical waste potentially exposes hospital staff, health care workers, waste handlers, patients and the community at large to infection, toxic effects and injuries, and risks polluting the environment. The term “medical waste” encompasses all waste materials produced within healthcare facilities such as clinics, hospitals, dental practices, blood banks, veterinary clinics as well as medical research facilities, cleanrooms and laboratories.

The Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988 defines medical waste as “any solid waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals.”

Waste generated in the healthcare sector includes an extensive range of materials, from used syringes to soiled dressings, diagnostic samples, blood, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and radioactive materials. There are a range of waste treatment technologies available to ensure the correct disposal of medical or healthcare waste depending upon the size of the establishment and the waste produced.

It is essential that the person responsible for managing the waste within each healthcare establishment, fully understands its waste streams and the correct methods of disposal for each stream. If waste is managed incorrectly, it can become extremely costly for the organisation. The amount of waste sent to landfill can be reduced through smarter procurement and improved waste management through increased recycling and routes to process.

Download the whitepaper if you would like further information on the findings of GPT Waste, and information on how financial savings of over 20% can be achieved through more considered approach to the procurement of waste services and the management of the service.

Download the whitepaper here.

To speak to someone about your pharmaceutical and clinical waste disposal requirements, call 0844 854 5000 or email

GPT Waste, the largest UK independent provider of waste management solutions and sustainable waste services offer a free waste review consultation for Directors.

Guy Cherry is the Managing Director of GPT Waste Management Connect with Guy on LinkedIn here.


Comments are closed.