From 1st April 2014 the National Measurement Office (NMO) and Trading Standards Officers (TSO) have started to run a wide ranging programme of checks on the weighing scales in GP surgeries, Health Centers, Pharmacies and for Mobile Health Visitors. The Project will run for 2 years.
The idea is to improve weighing standards in these environments to the benefit of the patient.
NAWI EU Directive 90/384 (now 2009/23), implemented by UK Government on 1.1.2003 prescribes the provision of weighing equipment for medical applications – where the weight from the scale is used to monitor weight, provide a diagnosis or to treat a patient – then the scale must legally be Class III or Class IIII approved. In the DOH Alert of 2009 it was strongly recommended that Class III scales are used for medical applications.
The previous National Medical Weighing Project (2008-09) focused on the quality of equipment, maintenance procedures and competence of the users in hospitals. The subsequent report by LACORS resulted in improvements in the quality of weighing equipment, maintenance of scales and user practice. It ensured a considerable increase in compliance with the law and improvements in patient care
How does the National Measurement Weighing Equipment Project affect your hospital/ surgery?
From April 2014 TSOs have started to visit GP surgeries and health centres to check for legal compliance of weighing equipment. Of particular concern will be equipment used in the weighing of babies and infants and adult portable scales used in GP surgeries and by health visitors
If your weighing equipment is not compliant with the law then you should consider replacing it.
Other than the quality of the scales areas that will be of interest to TSO will be records of maintenance of the equipment and the competence of the user.