Health bosses have reinstated a collection service after a family were left with bags of hazardous medical waste piling up in their garage.
The u-turn comes after NHS Property Services cancelled collections of blood products, needles, tubes and bandages from Sarah Coupe and other dialysis patients across East Lancashire.
Hyndburn Council said the NHS now intends to reinstate the service for the Coupe family after the Accrington Observer raised the issue on Sarah’s behalf.
Sarah’s mum Karen said the decision was a huge relief for the family, who still have dozens of bags of waste stored in their garage. She said: “It’s fantastic news. It’s such a relief.
“They are still all there piled up in the garage. There must be 40 bags there. It’s been like that for two and a half months.
“I can’t tell you what a difference it’s going to make to us. It’s such a mess down there.
“You sometimes feel like you’re banging your head against a wall. It’s been so stressful.”
Sarah, 25, was born with only one kidney and a rare genetic condition leaving her with the body of a 10-year-old child.
She is the only patient in the UK to receive paediatric haemodialysis at her home, on Moorside Drive in Clayton-le-Moors.
Karen feared her home could become an environmental hazard if she was unable to dispose of the waste, which has been accumulating over several weeks since the contract was cancelled in December. There are understood to be 24 dialysis patients across East Lancashire. But Karen believes at least 100 patients were affected by NHS Property Services’ decision to cut the collection service at the end of last year.
NHS Property Services previously told the Observer that local authorities were warned the contract with PHS Waste Management was due to end and new arrangements would need to be made.
Local authorities were asked to provide an interim service. But Hyndburn Council said it would be unlawful to allow its staff to collect blood products.
Hyndburn Council’s environmental services lead, Coun Paul Cox, the collection service is now due to be reinstated for the Coupe family.
He said: “We’ve taken this matter up with the NHS and have today been informed that they intend to reinstate the contract to have Mrs Coupe’s waste collected and that they will be in touch with Mrs Coupe to make the necessary arrangements.”
NHS England was unavailable for comment.