October 5, 2018 at 2:35 pm #2733
A criminal investigation has been launched after a backlog of medical waste including body parts was allowed to build up at six UK disposal sites.
It emerged on Thursday that the waste from hospitals had not been disposed of in a timely fashion by contractor Healthcare Environmental Services.
The Environment Agency said the firm was in breach of permits.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency is monitoring two sites where enforcement notices have been issued.
The UK government’s Department of Health said there was no risk to the public.
Human body parts ‘pile up’ in NHS waste backlog
Healthcare Environmental Services has a headquarters in Shotts in North Lanarkshire.
The contractor removes the waste from a significant number, but not all, hospitals in England and Scotland.
The waste was being held at five sites in England and one in Scotland and is stored in secure and refrigerated containers.
The problem was first reported by the Health Service Journal (HSJ), which said the disposal company was blaming the backlog on a shortage of high-temperature incinerators. canon customer service help desk
A Cobra meeting to discuss the issue was chaired by UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock last month, the HSJ reported.
A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency in England said it had found Healthcare Environmental Services to be in breach of environmental permits at five sites which deal with clinical waste.
She added: “We are taking enforcement action against the operator, which includes clearance of the excess waste, and have launched a criminal investigation.
“We are supporting the government and the NHS to ensure there is no disruption to public services and for alternative plans to be put in place for hospitals affected to dispose of their waste safely.”
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said it was working closely with the Environment Agency and “robustly monitoring sites in Scotland”.
A spokesman added: “On 12 September Sepa issued Enforcement Notices to Healthcare Environmental Services regarding sites in Dundee and Shotts, with officers conducting ongoing monitoring.”
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