Trailblazing tattoo hygiene scheme backed by Hartlepool health board

Paul Egan from Wishful Ink
Paul Egan from Wishful Ink

A HEALTH board has welcomed the introduction of a new scheme aimed at improving standards at tattoo parlours - the first of its kind in England.

A Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme (THRS) has been running in Wales since September last year but Hartlepool Borough Council was the first local authority in England to launch such a scheme.

The voluntary scheme is designed to inform members of the public about the hygiene standards in individual premises, drive up standards and help combat the risk of incidents of infection and of transmission of infectious disease from tattooing.

Members sitting on Hartlepool Borough Council’s health and wellbeing board met to discuss the new scheme and gave the initiative its backing.

Patrick Crowe, a senior environmental health officer and Lesley Huitson, a technical officer health and safety, at the local authority presented the report.

Putting Hartlepool First councillor Geoff Lilley said it would help ensure high standards, while the council’s director of public health, Louise Wallace, described the scheme as a “very positive piece of work here in Hartlepool”.

Under the scheme, tattoo studios undergo a rigorous inspection from environmental health officers before being rated in one of four categories. These are 1 - needs improvement. 2 - satisfactory. 3 - good and 4 - very good.

Once inspected, tattoo studios receive a certificate and a window sticker. Studios can also appeal if they do not think that their grading is a fair one.