Clinical Waste Contingency – SEPA statement

  19 March 2019

A spokesperson from SEPA, said:

“SEPA is clear that our work with Scottish Government, NHS National Services Scotland and health boards on contingency arrangements for the storage and disposal of clinical waste, are a result of Healthcare Environmental Services no longer providing collection services to NHS Boards across Scotland. HES are subject to a live regulatory investigation to establish whether criminal offences have been committed.

“All agreed contingency measures ensure that the environment and human health are appropriately protected.

“Following representations by HES, SEPA officers today attended a contingency waste transfer station.  Officers were satisfied with the operation of the site.  SEPA is continuing to monitor the operation of these arrangements and to date our inspections have not identified any risk to human health or the environment.”



As part of the establishment of robust national contingency arrangements, SEPA undertook a regulatory position to permit the facility to operate a temporary transfer station for limited amounts of clinical waste while an application for the appropriate licence is being processed. No anatomical waste is being transferred through the location and unlike HES Shotts, no clinical waste is being processed on site.

This storage is prior to transportation to facilities in England and Wales for appropriate treatment and disposal.

SEPA continues to work as part of a wider public sector response to ensure suitable arrangements are in place to manage healthcare waste arising in Scotland.  As environmental regulator SEPA‘s role is to ensure that the environmental and human health are protected and that all relevant standards are met in the management of this waste stream.