RCN comments on sharps injury agreement

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Intravenous news: The Royal College of Nursing today welcomed the signing of a joint agreement by European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association (HOSPEEM). This is an EU-wide agreement which the RCN has played a key role in bringing about to prevent one million medical sharps injuries per year. Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said:

Around half of nurses in the UK have been injured by a needle or sharp and we are delighted that the voice of our members has been heard in Europe on this issue. Nurses work in fear of needlestick injuries and, while the deal is welcome, we are concerned that it might take a number of years to be implemented in the UK. We are calling for speedy implementation of these measures in order to end the stress, trauma and serious medical consequences of these preventable accidents. It is vital that more people are not injured while we wait for safer practices to reach the workplace.”

Dr Carter continues It is very clear – needle policies, training and investment in safer needles can help prevent these accidents from happening in the first place. Nurses must also receive proper support from their employers when they sustain an injury to prevent the feelings of stress and isolation that often accompany such trauma. By making these changes and safeguarding the health of all staff, we can improve patient care in the UK and throughout Europe.”



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