European Union of Private Hospitals

FRANCE – Nurses take action against waste in healthcare

Stop the waste!

Self-employed nurses have had enough of being accomplices in the forced waste of medicines, medical devices and small equipment in patients’ homes and at their practices. C2DS (Committee for sustainable development in healthcare) is joining in alongsite with Convergence Infirmière. ACTION!

Nurses were “dumping their waste” in the central squares of 9 towns and cities on Tuesday 2 April 2024.

Convergence Infirmière has put a figure on this waste.

12 private practice nurses collected all unused medicines and medical devices from patients’ homes and premises for 1 month. RESULTS:

  • The waste collected by the 12 practices amounted to 42,140 euros for 1 month, with 560 references recovered and quantified.

  • On this basis, the waste amounts to 123 million euros per month for the whole of France.

  • The carbon footprint in France of this waste amounts to 655,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per month.

This avoidable waste is the result of a lack of coordination between the various players in the healthcare chain at the different stages – prescribing, dispensing and compliance – and a lack of mutual knowledge. The nurse, at the end of the care pathway, refuses to be an accomplice to forced waste.
The aim is to optimise the supply of medicines and medical devices in line with patients’ needs.

The aim is to optimise the supply of medicines and medical devices in line with patients’ needs.

Eliminating this waste means:

  • making substantial savings in healthcare without compromising the quality and safety of care
  • significantly reduce the carbon footprint of drug and medical device procurement
  • drastically reduce the environmental impact of the healthcare system
  • restore meaning to the noble professions of healthcare

The two organisations are launching a collaborative process with stakeholders to find ways of changing practices in order to eliminate this waste.
They propose that 2 April be retained as the date for an annual day to combat the waste of medicines and medical devices.

Nurses witness waste every day. This operation on 2 April, carried out over a period of 1 month in 12 nursing practices, has the merit of demonstrating this with data to raise awareness of avoidable waste. There are pragmatic solutions to avoid this, and we are here to make proposals,” says Ghislaine Sicre, President of Convergence Infirmière.

This work indicates an order of magnitude and is making a mark on people’s minds. Is our healthcare system rich enough to afford such waste? The fight against waste is a formidable lever for bringing together healthcare professionals to give meaning back to their work, and for commitment to reducing the social and environmental impact of healthcare activities“, emphasises Véronique Molières, Director of the C2DS.

The 12 practices that quantified their waste are located in 10 different départements, in both urban and rural areas. On average, they have 3 nurses.
The lists of names and quantities of medicines and medical devices wasted will be submitted to the CNAM and the Ministry of Health.

National extrapolation is based on 35,000 practices, with an average of 3 nurses.
The carbon footprint is calculated by the Primum Non Nocere agency on the basis of monetary emission factors, and the assumption of 70% medicines and 30% medical devices.

More info HERE