NHS Scotland set to retain services of waste scandal firm

Written by Tom Freeman on 12 October 2018 in News

Lanarkshire-based Healthcare Environmental Services has been stripped of its NHS contracts in England

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The firm responsible for a backlog of medical waste including body parts will continue to serve Scottish hospitals, despite being stripped from its contracts in England.

According to reports in the Health Service Journal (HSJ) last week, private contractor Healthcare Environment Services, based in Lanarkshire and Dundee, was unable to dispose of hundreds of tonnes of dangerous waste, allegedly including human body parts.

The Environment Agency in England said the firm had “repeatedly breached its environmental permits by storing excess waste at a number of its sites”.

The UK Government announced it will replace the service with another contractor, but it currently is set to retain its contracts in Scotland.

The disposal company blamed the backlog on a shortage of high-temperature incinerators.

The backlog is now the subject of a criminal investigation, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is monitoring sites in Dundee and Shotts, where enforcement notices have been issued.

A SEPA spokesman said: “SEPA is clear that compliance is non-negotiable and has been robustly monitoring sites in Scotland”.

Garry Pettigrew, managing director of Healthcare Environmental Services, told the BBC the company had been “vilified”.

"We have been a success story up until last week, and all of a sudden now everyone sees this as being a horror story," he said.

He denied that the medical waste included amputated limbs.

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