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Hospital porter cut by used needles lifts lid on scandal
A PORTER slashed three times by used medical equipment has lifted the lid on Basildon Hospital’s crisis with potentially hazardous contaminated waste.
Stephen Courtnell says he had to have a total of four months off work after three separate incidents when he was cut by used scalpels and a needle while carrying bags of waste.
The whistleblower, from Whitmore Way, Basildon, who is still employed by the trust, said he had to undergo a series of HIV and hepatitis tests and boosters which left him physically sick.
In one case he was left with a 10cm gash in his leg after a used scalpel ripped through a plastic waste sack supposed to contain just used tissues and swabs.
Last month the Echo revealed environmental watchdogs were probing how syringes and other used medical equipment were making their way into general waste.
Mr Courtnell said: “The plastic bags should just be for swabs and tissues. Any sharps should go in the special boxes, but it is not always happening. I have even seen bodily organs thrown in a plastic bag.
"It is the laziness and negligence by nurses and medics. I had the stress of waiting for test results and had to take tablets with symptoms like malaria and stomach cramps.” He said he was paid out £4,750 compensation and is pursuing two other claims.
A hospital spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on individual employees. The safety of our patients and staff is of the utmost importance and this is why we are in the process of reviewing our waste management arrangements."