BAGS of clinical waste have been seen piled at three health centres in North Lanarkshire in the wake of the collapse of scandal-hit firm Healthcare Environmental Services (HES).

The images posted on a social media site devoted to staff made redundant by the demise of the Shotts-based firm showed the waste on top of large containers in Coatbridge, Kilsyth and Cumbernauld.   They have since been removed.

HES announced to 350 staff including 150 staff in Scotland, two weeks ago that it had ceased operations after losing its NHS contract in Scotland served all its staff with redundancy notices. Workers based in Scotland say they were shocked by the announcement as there been no consultation.

HeraldScotland:

HES stopped serving the NHS in Scotland last month after being plunged into financial difficulty in the wake of allegations of stockpiling hundreds of tonnes of waste at its sites. It has steadfastly denied they included body parts.

The Environment Agency (EA) started a criminal investigation after the company breached storage limits.

It emerged that clinical waste from health boards across Scotland is now being imported to Shetland for burning in Lerwick’s incinerator in an effort to help ease a national backlog.

But one of the workers says the waste is having to be dumped in various locations in Scotland with weeks of waste backed up.

NHS Lanarkshire said the waste had since been removed and posed no risk but was unable to say how long it had been left lying.

HeraldScotland:

John Paterson, director of property and support services at NHS Lanarkshire, said. "The waste at Coatbridge, Kilsyth and Central (Cumbernauld) Health Centres was uplifted between January 9 and 11.

"We have an agreed interim process in place to ensure that clinical waste is uplifted as and when required, while the national contract is resolved.

"There was a delay in uplifts being requested with these three centres, but we have taken steps to avoid this in future. This was low level clinical waste that was bagged in accordance with procedures and held in closed-off areas. There was no risk to public health."

In December, the Scottish government said there were contingency plans to deal with the clinical waste