The government has decided to cancel contract of Healthcare Environmental Services (HES) as it has allowed clinical waste to accumulate at its dump sites in an unhealthy manner. This was announced by Stephen Barclay, Health Minister. The firm had been under contract to remove anatomical waste from hospitals in England and Scotland which it collected as per guidelines but it did not dispose of them as ordered. First alarm about the problem was raised in July though HES insisted that it has stored everything as per guidelines and hospital patients or general public are safe.
In a parliament statement Mr. Barclay stated that NHS Improvement has terminated the contract as HES was not able to prove that they were doing activities as per guidelines. The firm was served notice for the termination on Sunday by NHS Trusts. While Mitie has been asked to step in and manage anatomical waste from hospitals in England and Scotland, the other NHS services will continue as usual. He said that the department’s chief was worried that HES was holding excessive amount of lethal waste in huge quantity and was not destroying them.
However the waste was stored in a secured manner. It was not destroyed within prescribed timelines. But it did not cause any harm to the public health. The NHS stated that HES was in breach of environmental permits at four sites by stocking more waste than was permissible and storing it inappropriately. HES countered that the incineration machine’s capacity in UK had reduced for the last few years though Mr. Barclay insisted that there was “significant” addition to incineration capacity. Though HES has been stripped of its waste disposal contracts in England and Wales it has managed to retain its Scotland contract as the local government said that NHS’s decisions did not apply to it hence the contract would remain.