Source: Medicines & Healthcare Products & Regulatory Agency (MHRA)



On the 28th of February, MHRA issued an Estates and Facilities Alert in regards to the ingestion of cleaning chemicals. In a recent one-year period there have been eighteen incidents including one death reported to NHS Improvement where patients have ingested cleaning chemicals. This alert aims to clarify existing guidance and emphasises the importance of considering multiple factors in assessing risk to both staff and patients when using these products.


Necessary Actions by

Estates / Facilities, clinical leaders such as nurses, doctors and medical directors, health and safety personnel, risk management, and persons undertaking COSHH risk assessments.

  • Bring this alert to the attention of all appropriate managers, staff, specialist advisors and persons undertaking COSHH risk assessment.


  • Review organisational COSHH policy, risk assessments and associated forms/toolkits to ensure they are accessible to all staff in terms of language and format; taking into consideration the potential for variable degrees of literacy or that English may be a second language.


  • Undertake a multidisciplinary in situ COSHH risk assessment by 7 June 2019 to identify risks in areas where patients are admitted, assessed or receive treatment. The risk assessment should take account of multiple environmental, clinical, and operational health and safety factors, including but not limited to:
    • equipment and therapeutic environment needs of the room/space
    • operation and serstaff resource and ability to observe a patient in the room/space vices undertaken in the room/space
    • patient population risk especially vulnerable groups such as dementia, mental health, children, etc.
    • type of healthcare facility


  • Develop and implement action/mitigation plans ensuring staff are aware of the identified COSHH risk


  • Progress on action/mitigation plans should be submitted to executive management for their information and action if required.


Deadline for actions

Actions must be completed by the 7th June, 2019


» Click here to read the full alert