New supplier in place at NNUH to collect clinical waste

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is one of more than 30 NHS trusts which has put in place

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is one of more than 30 NHS trusts which has put in place emergency measures for storing clinical waste. Photo: Archant - Credit: PA

The region's flagship hospital has put in place a new supplier to collect clinical waste after problems with the national clinical waste contract.

The Health Service Journal (HSJ) has reported Healthcare Environmental Services Ltd (HES) stopped collecting waste from more than 30 NHS trusts last Thursday, including the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The Environment Agency has taken legal action against the company which was the subject of a scandal in the summer, as it was revealed it had stockpiled up to five times the permitted amount of clinical waste at its West Yorkshire depot.

HES was found to be in breach of its permits at five sites across England which deal with clinical waste, prompting a criminal investigation.

The company has previously claimed there is a lack of incineration capacity in the UK, which has been refuted by the government.

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The HSJ reports affected trusts have put into action the NHS Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response - a plan to respond to major incidents.

They said guidance issued to trusts for storage of waste includes the installations of extra units on site, including compactors, skips and trailers.

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According to the HSJ, the guidance states human waste should be stored in refrigerated units at the hospital's mortuary if likely to remain on site longer than 24 hours.

A spokesperson for NNUH said: 'As soon as this issue arose, NNUH set up contingency plans whilst the previous clinical waste collection contract was still in operation. 'Careful planning has been undertaken over the last few months to ensure an orderly transition to a new supplier.

'We can confirm that we are in the process of transitioning to the new supplier and the service has continued as usual with no interruptions.'

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