New fears over used syringes
SOME needle-users are not getting rid of used syringes safely because there are not enough collection points, a health group says.
Better Health 4 Middleton says a minority of people with diabetes and other conditions which require them to inject medication are not taking their sharps to a needle exchange or surgery if the trip is too time-consuming.
Health chiefs say it is vital needle-users take personal responsibility for their disposal – particularly at a time when resources are stretched. But, speaking at a meeting of Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning, the group’s Tony Ettenfield said it was often ‘damned inconvenient’ for people’.
He also questioned why pharmacies were not able to collect used-needles – given the borough has one needle exchange – in Langley – and four surgeries which will accept syringes.
He said: “It just raises that problem of just throwing them anywhere, and the response that came back from the CCG just led me to believe that the answer is to throw them in a public space because then public health will have to collect them, which is not the ideal situation.”
Dr Chris Duffy, who chaired the meeting, agreed a solution was needed but said any new money would have to be diverted from elsewhere.