Understanding and knowledge of sustainable waste management within the neonatal unit: A qualitative investigation
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The literature identifies a need for healthcare organisations to reduce the quantities of waste they generate, their carbon footprints, financial costs and adverse environmental impacts. This paper discusses a qualitative investigation carried out a within a neonatal unit (NNU) using semi-structured interviews with staff with the intent of gaining a greater understanding of their knowledge around sustainability, their waste management practice and to identify opportunities in relation to potential sustainable waste management interventions within the NNU. The research was sited in a NNU within a United Kingdom (UK) district general hospital. Five semi structured interviews were carried out with key informants recruited from the nursing staff based within the NNU. Results indicate that NNU staff are aware of cost and environmental issues surrounding healthcare waste management and are willing to consider and adopt changes in practice intended to make financial savings and manage waste sustainably. This may be facilitated by the use of some form of continuing information feedback system and use of sustainable waste management interventions that change the management of waste within the neonatal unit.
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