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Shocking new pictures lay bare scale of NHS body parts scandal: Inside waste disposal firm facing criminal probe after allowing amputated limbs to build up in huge stockpiles

Orange bags stuffed with potentially infectious waste lay in a corridor after spilling out of overflowing bins.
Shocking new images showing mountains of clinical waste stockpiled in a disposal site reveal the true scale of the NHS body parts scandal.
Tonnes of fluorescent orange and yellow bags stuffed with infectious waste were pictured spilling out of overflowing bins at Healthcare Environmental Services’ (HES) base in Benton, North Tyneside.
Fridges still sit full of human heads, torsos, arms and legs from surgical training in the city, according to a whistleblower at the troubled firm – although none of the fridges containing body parts have been pictured.
News of the scandal broke in October when HES was found to have hundreds of tonnes of clinical waste, including body parts, stockpiled at its sites.
The firm was stripped of its contracts with NHS trusts because a watchdog investigation revealed it wasn’t disposing of waste quickly enough.
The images, sent in by the former employee at the Benton site as part of an investigation by The Chronicle, show bins filled to the brim with infectious waste, dangerous medicines used in cancer treatment and filthy needles.

Pallets stand stacked on top of one another with waste collected over previous months ready to be incinerated.
HES lost its contracts with NHS Scotland and 17 NHS trusts in England but denied it was responsible for stockpiling body parts.
The English and Scottish health boards have now cancelled their contracts, causing the firm’s collapse.
The pictures – taken over the course of several months towards the end of 2018 – were provided by a former Newcastle-based employee.
The staffer, who said the site has not been cleared since the firm’s collapse, claimed The Benton site remains full of clinical, pharmaceutical, and surgical waste and that flies were being attracted to the site by the rotting waste.

They also said an estimated 60 bins worth of clinical waste are still ‘lying around’ in the depot hall.
The Benton site was found to contain 165 tonnes of waste, more than three times the permitted limit of 50 tonnes.
Waste was also being stored in trailers in the site’s yard against regulations.
‘Some days the smell got horrendous. Plant operatives sometimes came in saying they couldn’t work because of it,’ the employee said.
‘Flies were gathering on the waste which was starting to rot. The waste was coming in on a regular basis – that wasn’t the problem – but it was getting stockpiled because it was not getting disposed of in an incinerator.
‘At the end of the day, HES have been paid to dispose the waste and it has not been done.’
HES’ collapse has led to around 50 staff members at the Benton base being issued with redundancy notices on December 27.
All 400 staff – nationwide – at HES, were given redundancy notices on in December, leading employees to appeal to their former employer to pay for their lost wages.
About 350 HES employees asked Garry Pettigrew and his wife Alison to pay their December salaries.
Company bosses claim there was no cash to pay wages and workers should claim statutory redundancy from the Redundancy Payment Service.
But staff argue they have been given no insolvency reference number which has left them penniless and in limbo.
The former employee claims staff at the Newcastle site have not been paid since November 28, and some colleagues have been left up to £3,000 out of pocket.
They added: ‘It was like getting smacked in the face.

‘It would have been a different kettle of fish had it happened in June or July. Come New Years’ Day, you are thinking where is the money going to come from?
‘We want to get out there and make sure it’s covered across the whole of the UK. They can’t go away and hide. We need to get the staff paid one way or the other.’
North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon said: ‘The suspension of operations at the HES site is deeply concerning and my priorities are safety of the community and the future of the workers, who have lost their jobs.
‘It’s assuring that the Environment Agency is actively monitoring the site and the clinical waste has been stored safely and securely.
‘My office, North Tyneside Council and the DWP are all working together to help the former workers, who find themselves in a state of limbo as HES has not folded as a company.
‘I have taken up the issue directly with the relevant minister to make sure the state fully discharges its duties to the workers and the community.
‘I am also speaking with senior management from HES about their ongoing dispute with the Department of Health and the loss of contracts the company suffered last year, which may have led to the closure of HES sites across the UK, including North Tyneside.’
HES could not be reached for comment.
The troubled firm now faces a criminal investigation after ‘repeatedly breaching permits’.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: ‘Healthcare Environmental Services remains in breach of its environmental permits at six sites including at its clinical waste treatment and transfer station at Chollerton Drive, North Tyneside. Our enforcement action to clear the excess waste continues.
‘We have taken a range of action against the company but it has repeatedly breached permits and continued to operate unlawfully. As a result, in addition to our enforcement activity to clear the sites, we are undertaking a criminal investigation.
‘Our teams have taken action to attend the company’s sites to ensure they are locked and not accessible to the public. Our officers are carrying out regular inspections to monitor the security of each site.’#
It came after the Environment Agency issued an enforcement notice for the HES Newcastle site, ordering the firm to clear ‘excess waste’ at the facility.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has also launched an investigation to establish if criminal offences have been committed at HES sites in Dundee and Shott.
Last year, the Health Service Journal revealed that excess waste including human body parts reached 350 tonnes at the firm’s facility in Normanton, West Yorkshire, five times more than the company’s 70 tonne limit.
Ministers said the Environment Agency notified central Government in July about ‘an issue concerning clinical waste collection and disposal for hospitals and other public services’. (Daily Mail)

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