Guidelines published in August 2018 by the Health Service of Castilla-La Mancha (SESCAM) have been translated and published in English by the EBN. The guidelines cover all aspects of the dangers of exposure to hazardous drugs, along with prevention measures that can and should be taken. They form part of a wider movement within Spain and across the EU to improve legislation and guidance on issues surrounding hazardous drugs and the dangers they pose to hospital staff, patients and visitors.

Representatives of SESCAM presented the guidelines at a recent roundtable event in the European Parliament, coverage of which can be found here. The presentation formed part of a wider workstream on the future of legislation and guidance on hazardous drugs, particularly in the healthcare sector, following the recent amendments agreed to the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive.

The presentation of the guidelines followed on from a discussion led by representatives of bodies including the Spanish General Nursing Council, the UGT and the National Institute of Health and Safety at Work. This emphasised that ongoing work had been making widespread improvements in Spain on a localised and regional government basis, but that their ambition was now to bring different regulations and best practice guidelines into one place on a national level with a new national law on hazardous drugs.

Ian Lindsley, Secretary of the EBN, said: β€œThe ambition and depth of these guidelines should ensure that Castilla-La Mancha sees a dramatic rise in the prevention of occupational exposure to hazardous drugs and, importantly, the long-term well-being of patients, staff and visitors within hospitals. We hope that these guidelines can be used as an example and gold standard that other regions, nationalities and the European Commission can try to emulate and even improve upon.”

The guidelines can be downloaded in full in English here:

Hazardous Drugs Exposure Prevention Guidelines – Castilla-La Mancha