Hospital faces legal action for ditching firm.
Byline: NICK LAVIGUEUR email@example.com @grecian9
HUDDERSFIELD hospital chiefs have been slapped with legal action by the company it ditched over claims it was stockpiling medical waste - including amputated limbs and tissue.
Healthcare Environmental Services (HES) hit the headlines last month amid allegations it was not disposing of hazardous hospital waste properly.
The story broke after NHS England documents were leaked claiming it had stored five times its limit - 350 tonnes - of human waste, also including infectious liquids, cytotoxic waste linked to cancer treatment, and pharmaceutical waste.
HES has continued to deny stockpiling hundreds of tonnes of human body parts and dangerous waste at any of its UK sites, which include one at Normanton, near Wakefield.
It says anatomical waste such as amputated limbs accounts for less than one per cent of all waste and is dealt with as a priority.
HES has deny hundreds human and But just a few days after the claims emerged, a number of hospital trusts, including Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, confirmed they had cancelled their contracts with HES.
HES has now revealed it is suing the 17 Yorkshire hospitals for PS15m in damages for unlawfully terminating the contracts.
Letters from lawyers Shoosmiths have been sent to the various hospital trusts outlining the reason for the action.
HES managing director, Garry Pettigrew, said: "We feel that we have been left with no choice but to take legal action against the trusts after the terms of the agreed contracts were broken.
"Our contracts were terminated without first discussing any performance issues with the company and we were given no opportunity to fulfil our obligations.
"We are now taking this action to safeguard the company and our employees' future, and to give us an opportunity to correct some of the misinformation that has been reported in the media."
HES has said it has been requesting a dispensation to continue the safe storage of medical waste above agreed limits since January this year.
It said this would have enabled it to safely dispose of clinical waste in a planned and phased programme.
The firm has claimed its storage problem has been caused by a lack of high temperature incineration capacity in the UK.
On its website it says the situation has been caused by ageing infrastructure and lack of investment - some of the UK's medical waste incinerators are 40 years old and not fit for purpose.
continued to stockpiling of tonnes of body parts dangerous waste.
It says NHS hospitals are also sending more waste for incineration than ever before due to the drive to send zero waste to landfill.
They said the issue was affecting all medical waste contractors.
It has also claimed that clinical waste is now an even greater risk because hospitals have switched to use contractors who are transporting it out of the county on long journeys by land and sea.
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has been approached for comment.
HES has continued to deny stockpiling hundreds of tonnes of human body parts and dangerous waste. COMPANY HAD MADE ACCUSATIONS ABOUT MEDICAL WASTE
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|Publication:||Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)|
|Date:||Nov 8, 2018|
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