DRUGS which had belonged to a dead person were dumped in a skip by a “lazy” member of staff.

The pills were spotted by a member of the public outside Halliwell Late Night Pharmacy, in Halliwell Road.

It was reported to NHS Bolton’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

It is believed a bereaved relative took the pills, which were in a medicine dispensing tray and pharmacy bags, to the pharmacy to dispose of after being advised this was the correct way to get rid of them.

But instead of disposing of the prescription drugs correctly, a female member of staff put the drugs in a black bin bag and dumped them in a skip outside the shop.

A spokesman from the pharmacy said the medicines had been correctly disposed of the next morning when staff arrived at work. He added the employee had been disciplined.

The spokesman added: “I think she was just being lazy.

We are a late pharmacy and we had a locum pharmacist here and it was missed by him. The staff were reprimanded at the time and disciplined because it was against our standards and procedures.

“A patient had passed away and their family had returned the medication to the pharmacy asking us to dispose of it. But rather than following our procedures, the girl decided to put it in a black bin bag and chuck it outside.” After a passer-by complained to PALS, a member of the medicines team visited the site, but the skip had been emptied and there was no evidence of incorrectly disposed medicines.

An investigation revealed the drugs had been removed from the skip and properly disposed of the next day when staff from the pharmacy came back to work.

The superintendent pharmacist at the pharmacy told NHS Bolton that a member of staff had not followed procedures.

He said he had been “shocked” to see the medicines in the waste bags in and by the skip when he had come in to work and the member of staff responsible has been disciplined.

A spokesman for NHS Bolton said: “All of the medicines were disposed of correctly by pharmacy staff on the Monday morning when they were discovered.”

● If someone finds discarded medicines in a public place they should contact the Environment Agency, on 0800 80 70 60, who will arrange for their removal