NHS body parts scandal: criminal investigation launched

Image credit: BBC

The ‘NHS body parts scandal’, in which hundreds of tonnes of medical waste including human body parts have been left to pile up by a firm unable to properly fulfil a contract to incinerate them, is a grim example of the dangers of the government’s headlong rush to farm out NHS services to private companies.

This is all the more true after the SKWAWKBOX revelation yesterday that the Dept of Health (DH) was warned that the price of the winning bid was ‘abnormally low’.

Now issue has taken an even more serious turn with the news that a criminal investigation into the fiasco has been launched after the Environment Agency said the firm was in breach of environmental permits.

Sadly, none of the Tory politicians ultimately responsible for a huge scandal they were warned about are likely to end up in the dock.

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  1. The last sentence sums it all up.

    As I’ve always said – Sh*t rolls downhill.

  2. The crime starts with the Conservative government pushing the privatisation agenda.

  3. Companies House info on this firm is interesting. However, the company that lost the tender makes a very large profit on its NHS contracts, so no wonder they were, to say the least, aggrieved. These ‘reverse auctions’ to provide services to the NHS are just a race for the bottom, necessitating public money bail-out. Like all things NHS, they are to valuable to be entrusted to the private sector.

  4. This appalling fiasco is not however the automatic result of tendering out to the private sector. It is the result of pressure to take the lowest bid. The NHS cannot do everything itself, it will have to buy some goods and services from elsewhere. The key lesson from this is that the criteria for acceptance need to be based on quality not just price.

  5. The key lesson from this is that the disposal of human body parts(are aborted foetuses included in this?) should not be something to profit from.

  6. No matter how many private or privatised companies are proved incompetent the Tories still push the lie that privately-owned is inherently more efficient than publicly-owned when it’s nothing of the sort.
    The obvious advantage of public over private industry – apart from not wasting billions further enriching the rich – is the possibility of completely open books.
    The ‘commercial sensitivity’ claimed by private companies hides problems and abuses until it’s too late and the public purse often has to pick up the slack and the bill.
    Nationalised industries without competition have no valid reason for secrecy so, with enabling legislation, can be widely monitored and held to account by the public they serve.
    The ‘entrepreneurial class’ are not the sole fount of innovation and ideas and Nationalised industry doesn’t have to be hidebound by restrictive practices and stasis – designed thoughtfully it can provide highly responsive oversight, genuinely democratic decisions and world-beating innovation – employees often have the best appreciation of inefficiencies in their workplaces.

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