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CORPSE CRISIS: Inspection finds overflowing mortuary and bodies on floor in hospital

 Published on: 27th September 2023   |   By: Panayiota Demosthenous   |   Category: Uncategorized

The results of an inspection of Hemel Hempstead General Hospital earlier this year have been addressed in a trust board meeting, which found the mortuary overflowing and bodies on the floor.

The West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust meeting was held on Thursday, September 7, and included several figures from across the trust’s hospitals and divisions, including directors, officers and secretaries.

According to the report from the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) inspection in March, the hospital had “insufficient internal capacity for storage of bodies” and “the number of bodies had recently reached double that of the internal mortuary capacity.” This meant that the hospital had been forced to “utilise the floor space of the fridges for the storage of bodies.”

On top of this, the report referred to “perished door seals and a build-up of ice” that were found in the mortuary freezer, which has been classified as a ‘critical level of shortfall’, as well as a selection of other concerns about the “damage to walls”, “significant damage to ceiling tiles” and even a “build-up of condensation and black mould.”

The report also highlights an action plan, including a series of reviews that were approved by the Board in July this year that will be used to monitor the improvements of the hospital.

Divisional director for Clinical Support Services at West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Martin Keble said: “We’re pleased to report that we have made considerable progress in responding to the issues raised by the HTA following the inspection of our mortuaries at Hemel and Watford General hospitals in March.

“This includes investments in improving the building fabric of the mortuaries, the purchase of new equipment and the expansion of the mortuary team.

“We have received positive feedback from the HTA on our progress to date and look forward to completing all the outstanding actions before our next inspection in March 2024.”

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