The NHS Produces More Waste Than The Country Can Burn Explaining The Back Up

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A quite lovely little story involving gory and rotten body parts, privatisation and the troubles Nimbyism can get us into. HES is the contractor charged with collecting and disposing of medical waste from the NHS. This involves everything from used bandages to stray feet that have been excised. That’s the privatisation part, it used to be that each hospital would have a little incinerator to do this. That’s the environmental part as this was thought to be bad, so let’s have fewer of them.

Not actually a bad idea, high temperature incinerators, ones that don’t produce dioxins and other pollutants, are expensive. Fewer, larger, better, why not. Except people don’t want one built near them, that’s the Nimbyism.

So, we’ve now a back up of medical waste:

Body parts including amputated limbs and waste from cancer treatment have been retained rather than disposed of by a major NHS supplier, prompting the government’s emergency committee to take action.

The health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, chaired a Cobra committee meeting last month amid concern that the firm’s failure to get rid of the waste could pose a health hazard.

Entirely true, it’s a real problem, we’d like that waste dealt with:

The NHS documents reveal that Healthcare Environment Services Ltd. allowed human waste, including amputated limbs and waste linked to cancer treatment, to build up to unsustainable levels due to a lack of incineration capacity, the journal reported.

Lack of capacity, so, is that the company, privatisation, or something else?

It is understood that the Environment Agency has been putting pressure on the company to dispose of the backlog but that rules on incineration have limited the amount which can be dealt with.

Well, no, it’s not privatisation or the company. The fact is that the NHS produces more waste than the incineration capacity of the entire country can deal with. The reason presumably being a shortage of permits being issued for incinerators. That is, we’ve a planned economy problem here, not a privatisation one.

Not that we’re going to get told that in the screaming over this issue, are we?

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