November 1, 2018 11.42 am This story is over 59 months old

New contractor and assurances after human waste backlog revelations

A new provider will take over the management of human waste

The chief executive of Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals has assured patients the organisation has found a new contractor for clinical waste disposal.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust was one of 50 trusts affected by a backlog of human body parts caused by disposal company Healthcare Environmental Services Ltd (HES).

As reported by the Health Service Journal, the firm had stockpiled waste which included amputated limbs, infectious liquids and cytotoxic waste linked to cancer treatment at its UK sites.

NLaG terminated its contract with company following the revelations.

Dr Peter Reading, chief executive of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust. Picture: Calvin Robinson.

Now, Dr Peter Reading, chief executive of NLaG, confirmed that the trust has extended its  contract with Veolia UK to cover clinical waste at the organisation.

He said the officials became aware of the problems with HES back in August and have now moved to extend Veolia’s contract who already provide general waste disposal at the trust’s hospitals.

“I can assure local people that we have managed this transition completely safely,” said Dr Reading.

“There has been no patient risk or indeed any operational hiccoughs along the way in terms of making that change.”

A criminal investigation was launched into HES in October following the scandal.

The company blamed the backlog on a lack of high-temperature incinerators and said they had highlighted the issue.

NLaG was one of many health authorities which relied on the company for its waste disposal.

Minister for Health, Stephen Barclay.

Health Minister, Stephen Barclay MP, told Parliament that the Environment Agency had launched an investigation into HES.

He said: “On July 31, the Environment Agency notified central government of an issue concerning clinical waste collection and disposal for hospitals and other public services provided by the company, Healthcare Environmental Services.

“In this instance, the primary concern was that too much waste was being held in a number of waste storage and treatment sites by a contractor, Healthcare Environment Services.

“While the waste was stored securely, it was not being processed and disposed of within the correct regulatory timescales.

“At no point has there been an impact on public health or any delay to the ability of the NHS to carry out operations.”

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