AN investigation is under way after used medical equipment was found strewn along a major York road.

Two city hospitals have defended their waste disposal procedures after used catheters, swabs, an adult nappy, surgical gloves and other items, some of which appeared to have been used, were scattered along about 100 metres of Haxby Road on Saturday morning.

Among members of the public who noticed them was biologist Dr Geoff Oxford, of the University of York, who was out for a walk with his wife.

He said: “We are concerned about the health risk to youngsters. It looks as if the waste has come off a lorry that was taking it away for disposal.”

The waste, near the disused Vickers factory site, was mostly scattered along the gutter on the east side of the carriageway and was close to two hospitals, the private Nuffield Health York Hospital further along Haxby Road, and the NHS run York Hospital in Wigginton Road.

A statement from Nuffield Hospital said: “Nuffield Health has a stringent handling process for disposal of waste to ensure it is disposed of safely and correctly.

“The processes in place in Nuffield Health York Hospital also ensures that all waste is traceable so we are confident that this bag has not come from us.”

Libby MacManus, chief nurse for York Hospital, said she was “very concerned” to hear about the waste on the road.

She had not been notified about any waste problems, but would immediately start an investigation to see if it had come from the NHS hospital.

“We have very stringent disposal measures for clinical waste from the hospital,” she said.

None of the clinical waste on the road had obvious signs to show where it had come from and there was no bag visible to either Dr Oxford or The Press photographer to show where it had originated. The waste did not contain needles or sharp items.