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Electronic waste transfer system developed

Nearly three-quarters of large and medium sized NHS organisations would use a new online waste management system being developed to help move towards a paper-free health service, research shows.

The Electronic Duty of Care (edoc) is a free, non-mandatory system, being developed by the Environment Agency in partnership with the waste sector.

Edoc will be rolled out in January 2014, and provides an alternative to the exchange of paper Waste Transfer Notes (WTNs). Every transfer of waste must be documented, and edoc could save time, money and cut down on storage requirements, improving efficiency.

The project is co-financed by the European Commission (LIFE+), led by the EA with CIWM, Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), Reconomy (UK) Ltd, Welsh Government, and Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Chris Deed, edoc programme manager at the Environment Agency, said: “With edoc, we are aiming to provide a modern means of recording waste transfers that reduces the administrative burden on businesses. 

“We surveyed the six sectors for which UK waste compliance has particular impact and found the majority of businesses were keen to take up the new online edoc system. It’s a simple system to use, with so many benefits, and we want to help every business who takes its environmental responsibilities seriously to make the change to edoc.”

Stephen Sykes, interim good corporate citizen manager for Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, said: “Transferring to edoc would mean we could get rid of the paper Waste Transfer Notes sitting in 106 different locations – and put them all in one place online.

“That freed-up storage space can then be used for medical supplies and the online system will be especially beneficial for a public healthcare provider with several sites.

“Our waste management contractors, Bagnall and Morris, are on board with the edoc system and with the push across the NHS on sustainable waste reduction and energy saving, I hope there’s a big uptake as it will save so much energy and waste.

“The fact that you can also check all your waste transfer records online and that it’s all traceable and auditable is great. Anything that means we can deal with patients rather than paperwork is welcome and it’s one of the important steps towards making the NHS more efficient and paper-light.”

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