Clinical waste firm staff made redundant

Image caption Staff at the firm’s base in Shotts were told on Thursday morning they were being made redundant

Workers at a troubled clinical waste firm in North Lanarkshire have been handed redundancy notices.

Healthcare Environmental Services (HES) told staff they were being made redundant with “immediate effect”.

In a letter given to employees, managing director Garry Pettigrew said it was due to circumstances “outwith our control”.

About 150 people are employed at the firm’s base in Shotts, and almost 400 at depots throughout the UK.

Employees had earlier been sent text messages warning them they might not be paid this week, with HES claiming its bank had refused to release funds.

They were then called to meetings on Thursday morning, where they were handed redundancy notices.

The letter said: “I write to you to inform you that your position in the company will be made redundant with immediate effect.

“I apologise that there have been no previous consultations on this matter, however there are unforeseen circumstances that have proven to be outwith our control”.

The company has responsibility for disposing of clinical waste from every hospital, GP’s surgery, dental practice and pharmacy in Scotland.

But it lost 17 contracts with NHS trusts in England earlier this year as a criminal inquiry was launched into a build up of waste at some of its depots.

Image caption Redundancy notices were handed to staff during meetings on Thursday morning

HES has claimed its reputation was destroyed by the UK government, and said a shortage of incinerators rather than its actions was to blame for the problems.

Earlier this month the firm was also informed it would lose its NHS Scotland contract in April of next year, and subsequently said sits banking facilities had been cut off.

Ahead of Thursday’s meetings, one staff member told BBC Scotland: “We are supposed to be paid on Friday 28 December. Some of the drivers have been told not to come to work for their runs this week.

“I think we will be told it’s over.”

Image caption An employee told the BBC waste was piling up at the depot

He also said the Shotts facility was “full of pallets of waste”, some of which had been there for more than three weeks, and added: “There are containers positioned outside the gates so that no one can get in.”

The firm said it had made repeated requests for an urgent meeting with NHS Scotland “to ensure continuation of the service” but it had not received a response.

On 12 December National Services Scotland (NSS) said it had taken responsibility for waste from every hospital, GP surgery, dental practice and pharmacy to cope with a potential backlog of clinical waste after HSE withdrew its service.

The BBC has approached HES for a comment.

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Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

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