OUTRAGED members at a pricey health club are kicking up a stink over rat droppings left ‘for days.’

Woodstock Road’s Nuffield Health - which charges £119 a month for tennis membership - says it has begun a ‘full disinfection and cleaning programme’ after the situation was reported to Environmental Health.

A member in his 50s, who does not want to be named, says he first reported the issue – which involved a ‘strong smell of urine and visible rat excrement on indoor tennis courts’ – to the club on Monday, July 30.

He said: “It’s an intolerable situation… It stank.

“Several members playing tennis had their towels on the floor at the back of the court so they could wipe down their face and upper body while playing.

“I certainly hope the courts were cleaned, as they have the children’s courses running on Mondays.”

He said the droppings were still there on Thursday, August 2, with courts still being used.

It was then that he reported the organisation, which also runs a number of hospitals, to the Environmental Health Office (EHO). The city council confirmed the date was correct.

Nuffield Health claims that as soon as it was aware of the incident, it carried out an investigation and liaised with EHO.

But the council says it only made contact with the club on Friday, August 3 - four days after members reported the droppings.

Having initially claimed that the incident only affected outside tennis courts – which are owned by nearby school St Edward’s - the centre corrected its statement to: “Nuffield Health is committed to providing a clean and safe environment for all members.

“As soon as we were aware of the problem in our tennis courts, we carried out an investigation and liaised with the EHO to identify the best solution.

“As a result, cladding and protection work began (on Tuesday) and will be followed by a full disinfection and cleaning programme. The work is expected to last just over a week, all of our members have been informed of the maintenance plans and any likely disruption.”

But numerous members say they have not been informed about the plans – and know of no one who has.

In a notice placed on the main desk in reception, the club says there has been ‘tennis court works,’ but makes no mention of the details.

It also lists a series of measures to deal with pests, which it says ‘has always been an issue’ – something members have disputed.

One said: “I have been here 19 years have never ever had this. We play here about five times a week.”

The member said Nuffield Health did ‘nothing’ to clean the mess for days, before eventually vacuuming up the droppings, which is not the correct way to dispose of them.

A spokesman for the city council, which runs the EHO, said: “The investigating officer outlined a plan of remedial actions and advised that their pest control contractors were dealing with the issue. Following this, the investigating officer contacted the club outlining the control measures they should have in place and requesting a copy of pest control records.”

St Edward’s Bursar Stephen Withers Green said: “We expect the highest standards of all organisations who work with St Edward’s. We are liaising closely with Nuffield Health to ensure that they offer an appropriate environment for our pupils and for the wider Oxford community.”