Staff made redundant at NHS waste firm Healthcare Environmental Services

Hundreds of staff have been made redundant at a disposal company facing a probe over a pile-up of waste from the NHS.

Healthcare Environmental Services (HES) had contracts with 17 NHS trusts in Yorkshire when it became embroiled in a waste stockpiling scandal involving its depot in Normanton.

The company, which provided services for the NHS in England and Scotland, reportedly informed staff at its depot in Shotts, North Lanarkshire, yesterday that it is to cease trading.

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Ministers were urged to intervene to help workers at HES, which is thought to employ 150 people in Shotts and 350 across the UK.

Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon said: “This is another example of workers being treated appallingly over the Christmas period and is a devastating blow to the Shotts community.”

HES previously denied claims of body parts being stockpiled and said a shortage of incinerators led to the backlog.

A letter to staff from HES Managing Director Garry Pettigrew said: “The company very much regrets that it has become necessary to make redundancies and that you have been affected.

“I would like to offer my sincere apology in this regard and to thank you for your hard work and contribution to the company during your employment.”

In November, HES transferred 23 workers at its Normanton site to Mitie, the firm which took over the Yorkshire NHS waste contracts.

The Environment Agency had previously said the firm was found to be in breach of permits at four of its six sites in England, and a criminal investigation was launched.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We know this will be a worrying time for those employed by HES, and we will continue to work with those affected to ensure they are kept informed and supported as we ensure there is no disruption to NHS services.”