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NHS Supply Chain goes on the road to promote Safer Sharps campaign

Wednesday 28 November 2012

NHS Supply Chain has launched a series of nationwide events designed to help NHS healthcare professionals prepare for the introduction of a new EU Directive on the prevention of sharps injuries in the health care sector due to come into force in May 2013.

EU Directive 2010/32/EU, first introduced in 2010, responds to a key health and safety concerns amongst healthcare staff across Europe – with an estimated 100,000 needlestick accidents occurring every year in the UK alone. Member states have until May to comply with the Directive.

The new Directive will drive a step change in the way sharps are managed within clinical environments – with the adoption of new ways of working and enhanced products to ensure a safer working environment for clinical staff. 

NHS Supply Chain’s series of events, supported by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), will give healthcare professionals the opportunity to review the range of new devices available from various suppliers in line with the Directive.  Clinical Nurse Advisors and Account Managers from NHS Supply Chain will be on hand throughout to provide advice and guidance on clinical product choice and the most cost effective route to delivery, as well as helping to arrange local product trials and evaluations. 

“The EU Directive on the prevention of sharps injuries is a big deal for trusts” explains Chris Littlejohn, Clinical Lead at NHS Supply Chain. “It will help to ensure a safer working environment for healthcare professionals and reduce the misery of thousands of staff who are exposed to blood-borne infections every year through this route. 

“NHS Supply Chain is committed to working with trusts to provide a simple route to compliance. We have designed an implementation pack that will be rolled out following individual trust assessments – understanding each trust’s current position in terms of safer sharps and developing a path to implementation to ensure a smooth transition.”

NHS Supply Chain’s safer sharps events will run until 7 December across five nationwide locations – Manchester, London, Somerset, Leeds and Birmingham.  For more information, visit




Media enquiries:

Jayesha Mistry
07738 071826

Tom Stone
07730 202 668

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07776 457201

Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain

Follow us on Twitter: @NHSSupplyChain

NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL as Agent of the NHS Business Services Authority. It supports the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organisations in England and Wales by providing end to end supply chain solutions.

The organisation was formed in 2006 from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). NHS Supply Chain aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.

NHS Supply Chain manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for over 1,000 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations. It provides a single point of access to over 600,000 products ranging from bandages to sutures, from gloves to implants, and even diagnostic equipment such as MRI scanners.

Its management of the procurement process negates an NHS organisation’s need to tender through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Costs can also be reduced through its one-route solution that consolidates all products onto one invoice and delivery – this saves up to £1* per product in back office administration costs and removes up to 40 deliveries going into a trust compared with ordering goods separately. (*source: NHS Supply Chain 2009 value proposition study with Southampton NHS trust)

To ensure that its products are fit for today’s healthcare market, NHS Supply Chain works with suppliers of all sizes to ensure its range embraces high quality and innovative products; and engages with clinicians, the Department of Health and academic institutions to make sure that it is aware of the current requirements and latest developments in clinical practice.

NHS Supply Chain’s product areas include:

  • Theatres
  • Dental
  • Audiology
  • Catering, including food
  • Infection control
  • Orthopaedics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Capital equipment, including finance and maintenance.

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in ten locations.

Delivering value to the NHS