Hillingdon Hospital Trust, where contaminated surgical instruments were identified last week, is not complying with the Royal College of Surgeons of England policy on decontamination.

Operations were suspended on Thursday at two of its sites, Hillingdon Hospital and Mount Vernon Hospital, after clinicians found surgical kits contaminated with human flesh. Surgery resumed on Friday.

The Royal College of Surgeons’ surgical decontamination services policy recommends the “retention of appropriate on-site decontamination services where either elective or emergency surgery is likely to require immediate decontamination of a surgical instrument or an implant”.

However, a Hillingdon spokeswoman told HSJ the trust had outsourced its decontamination services and, as a result, had no onsite facilities.

She said: “This is the case with many other trusts in north London and we are working on a joint initiative to create a shared service.”

The contaminated instruments were supplied by IH Sterile Services, which said in a statement that it had begun an urgent investigation to establish the cause of this “clearly unacceptable situation”.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “Hospitals have a responsibility to ensure surgical equipment is clean and safe. Failure to do this would be taken very seriously by the government and the regulators.”