POTENTIALLY toxic waste has been left stacked outside oftwo Ayrshire hospitals after the firm responsible for its removal went bust.

Staff at Healthcare Environmental Services, which managed clinical waste removal for hospitals across Scotland, were given redundancy notices on December 27 and fears have since been raised over the build up of waste at Crosshouse and Ayr hospitals.

One MSP described the issue as ‘extremely concerning’ but NHS bosses maintained that there was no risk to public health. Jamie Greene, Conservative MSP for the West Scotland, told the Herald: “This is an ex tr emely concerning situation that potentially represents a significant public health risk.

“Although the closure of HES was always going to have an impact on hospitals’ ability to manage and dispose of human and toxic waste, there appears to be a complete absence of a strategy to adapt.

“Ministers must show leadership and set out a clear plan of action on how they intend to ensure that all Scotland’s health boards are equipped to both manage and dispose of anatomical waste.

I will be raising this matter with the Scottish Government.”

John Wright, Director for Corporate Support Services at NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said the waste is within secure areas and no risk to public health.

In a statement, he said: “We would like to reassure our patients and the public that all clinical waste is being stored and disposed of appropriately and there is no risk to public health or safety.

“As with all other health boards across Scotland, NHS Ayrshire & Arran has been working closely with National Services Scotland to quickly put in place the national contingency plans for the storage and disposal of clinical waste.

“At University Hospitals Ayr and Crosshouse waste is being stored in closed containers within secure waste areas, before disposal by appropriately trained staff. We are working with a changing situation, while ensuring that our plans are safe, effective and in line with safe working practices.”