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BMA seeks needle injury guidance

Doctors need practical guidance to help them with new regulations on preventing sharps injuries in the NHS, the BMA says.

The association makes the point in response to a consultation by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) on regulations being introduced to meet an EU directive on needle injuries.

It is concerned at the HSE’s suggestion of poor practice in the use of needles and says that the majority of injections used by GPs come from manufacturers with preformed needles.

The BMA GPs committee response says the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency would need to be involved and to work with manufacturers to improve safety.

It also highlights the regulation suggesting healthcare professionals must review all of their procedures prior to implementation of the guidelines in May 2013, and then regularly train staff in them thereafter.

The BMA says: ‘Both of these have associated staff-time costs when workloads are already increasing across the sector, and when healthcare professionals have already undertaken significant work to reduce sharps injuries in the workplace.’