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Supply and distribution of sharps boxes

A few weeks ago email correspondence between Birmingham City Council to NHS England was brought to my attention. This stated that as the supply of sharps bins ( as opposed to their collection from patients’ homes) was a NHS rather than local authority responsibility the Council would be ceasing supplying them to patients from 1st April and GPs would then be expected to prescribe them all on FP10. NHS England then simply passed this matter on to the CCGs , merely informing them to deal with the communications fall out of this issue, rather than challenging the unacceptable assertion that GPs would have to pick up the wholly inappropriate prescribing responsibility. Needless to say there had been absolutely no discussion or consultation with the LMC over this matter.

Happily, following engagement by the LMC with the three Birmingham CCGs, who fully shared Birmingham LMC’s concern over this decision , the CCGs have agreed that they will now fund the Council in continuing to supply and distribute sharp bins to patients homes. I am most grateful to the officers of all three CCGs who’s sensible position on this matter is in sharp contrast to that of the local authority and NHS England.

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