Medical equipment found at Bloxham scrapyard

Dumped Hospital equipment at Smith's of Bloxham. NNL-161110-125759009
Dumped Hospital equipment at Smith's of Bloxham. NNL-161110-125759009

An investigation is underway into how medical equipment came to be discovered dumped at a local scrapyard.

Some 90 pairs of forceps, two wheelchairs - one a speciality disability transporter - a computer shell and some bed screens were taken to Smiths of Bloxham for disposal.

Dumped Hospital equipment at Smith's of Bloxham. NNL-161110-125851009

Dumped Hospital equipment at Smith's of Bloxham. NNL-161110-125851009

There was also a ‘cooling cap’ machine - a device for reducing hair loss in patients receiving chemotherapy.

At the moment it is unclear as to where exactly the equipment came from. Tom Smith, of Smiths of Bloxham, said: “We get medical equipment occasionally but it’s usually things like crutches which if they’re not broken, we give away to old folks’ homes or somewhere that can use them. This is very different.

“We’ve checked out the disability wheelchair - a Scalp 16 - which can cost from £900 - £2,500. This one looks completely new and we’ll see if Frank Wise School can use it.

“There are eight or nine boxes of ten forceps, all still in their polythene bags and unused.”

Mr Smith said the ‘cooling cap’ machine appeared still to be working and had a label on showing it had been tested as recently as June 30.

He said the apparatus and computer had been brought to the scrap yard from a regular supplier who said he had been asked to go to the Horton to collect unwanted items.

Oxford University Hospitals Trust, which runs the Horton, said the computer shell was from the hospital but it had not arrived through any official channel.

And a spokesperson said it was unclear at the moment as to where the other equipment was from and that a full investigation was ongoing.

She said: “We have visited the scrap yard to examine the medical equipment. The majority is either broken or damaged. We have not been able to identify whether the equipment has come from the Horton General Hospital site, except for an empty computer shell with no hard drive which has been decommissioned and would have been waiting for disposal through our licensed contractors.

“This equipment has not reached the scrap yard through any of our recognised disposal routes or appointed contractors. We have given no approval for equipment of this nature to be removed from the Horton site.

“The Trust has procedures for disposing of waste medical equipment by approved licenced contractors who provide a Waste Transfer Note on collection and retain a copy with a signature from a Trust representative to confirm that the collection is authorised.”

“We are currently undertaking a full investigation.”