October 5, 2018 2.07 pm This story is over 65 months old

Firm which stockpiled human body parts from local trust under investigation

A criminal investigation has been launched into the issue

The trust which runs Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals will be hit by emergency government measures after a disposal company was found to be stockpiling hundreds of tonnes of dangerous waste, including body parts.

A criminal investigation has now been launched into Healthcare Environmental Services Ltd after waste was allowed to build up at its UK sites, as reported by the Health Service Journal.

The backlog included amputated limbs, infectious liquids and cytotoxic waste linked to cancer treatment, as well as pharmaceutical waste.

The company has a contract with Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust as well as a number of other health trusts.

A spokesperson for NLaG confirmed that HES is the contractor for the trust’s hospitals.

The Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, called an emergency COBRA meeting into the situation with HES yesterday.

Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby. Photo: Lincolnshire Reporter

Since then an investigation has started into the stockpiling after the Environment Agency confirmed that the firm had breached its permits.

Trusts affected have been put on standby for waste collections by NHS England and specialist trailers will be provided by the government to store waste under Cabinet Office plans.

But, the Department for Health have said that there is no risk to the public.

HES removes waste from a number of NHS hospitals across the UK, but not all of them.

The waste was being held at five sites in England and one in Scotland and is stored in secure and refrigerated containers.

HES have blamed the backlog problem on a shortage of high-temperature incinerators.

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