Thursday, May 02, 2019

The mortuary at UHW.

THE current mortuary, which was deemed “not fit for purpose” as far back as 2003, and is expected to cater for the 520,00 people of the South East, was heavily criticised this week by a former staff member of the hospital.
“The fact of the matter is that the building should have been upgraded many years ago and the fact that it has been neglected is actually frightening for the people of the South East,” he said. “It really is in a desperate state”.
The building consists of a post mortem room with two fixed tables and some small storage areas. There’s one small embalming/body preparation room, one changing room for both males and females with a shower that’s “falling apart”.
The building has a number of “obvious deficiencies such as a lack of counselling/meeting rooms, no multi-faith areas for Muslims who need washing facilities etc, and no pastoral care rooms. The rooms are inadequately separated meaning noise and odours are well within reach of the public.

There are no separate staff toilets, no viewing areas for Gardaí/students, no ‘high risk’ area for infectious cases and the Post Mortem suite opens directly onto a corridor instead of a transitional area. One of the biggest issues of all, which has led to bodies being left on trolleys and in a recent case on the mortuary floor, is the inadequate and poorly accessible refrigeration, which should open directly into the Post Mortem room, but is instead in a separate room, where there is space for just six bodies. This, in addition to the unfiltered air that’s extracted into the public car park, give rise to horrendous conditions, that are of significant risk to both the living and the dead.
The mortuary in Waterford, which services 520,000 people, has four pathologists and refrigeration space for the storage of six bodies. In Cork University Hospital, which services 542,000 people, there are 20 pathologists and storage space for 25 bodies (with an additional room that can store six extra bodies if the need arises).
The deficiencies in the mortuary at UHW came to light as far back as 2002 when the South Eastern Health Board centralised regional post-Mortem services to Waterford. A formal working group was set up back then to oversee the various logistical aspects of the centralisation – which current pathologist Prof Rob Landers was on – and a case was regularly made about the unsuitability of the current mortuary.Mortuary is in a “desperate state”
By Darren Skelton
THE current mortuary, which was deemed “not fit for purpose” as far back as 2003, and is expected to cater for the 520,00 people of the South East, was heavily criticised this week by a former staff member of the hospital.
“The fact of the matter is that the building should have been upgraded many years ago and the fact that it has been neglected is actually frightening for the people of the South East,” he said. “It really is in a desperate state”.
The building consists of a Post Mortem room with two fixed tables and some small storage areas. There’s one small embalming/body preparation room, one changing room for both males and females with a shower that’s “falling apart”.
The building has a number of “obvious deficiencies such as a lack of counselling/meeting rooms, no multi-faith areas for Muslims who need washing facilities etc., and no pastoral care rooms. The rooms are inadequately separated meaning noise and odours are well within reach of the public. There are no separate staff toilets, no viewing areas for Gardaí/students, no ‘high risk’ area for infectious cases and the Post Mortem suite opens directly onto a corridor instead of a transitional area. One of the biggest issues of all, which has led to bodies being left on trolleys and in a recent case on the mortuary floor, is the inadequate and poorly accessible refrigeration, which should open directly into the Post Mortem room, but is instead in a separate room, where there is space for just six bodies. This, in addition to the unfiltered air that’s extracted into the public car park give rise to horrendous conditions, that are of significant risk to both the living and the dead.
The mortuary in Waterford, which services 520,000 people, has four pathologists and refrigeration space for the storage of six bodies. In Cork University Hospital, which services 542,000 people, there are 20 pathologists and storage space for 25 bodies (with an additional room that can store six extra bodies if the need arises).
The deficiencies in the mortuary at UHW came to light as far back as 2002 when the South Eastern Health Board centralised regional post-mortem services to Waterford. A formal working group was set up back then to oversee the various logistical aspects of the centralisation – which current pathologist Prof Rob Landers was on – and a case was regularly made about the unsuitability of the current mortuary.

FURTHER COVERAGE IN THIS WEEK’S PRINTED EDITION OF THE WATERFORD NEWS & STAR, IN SHOPS NOW

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By Darren Skelton
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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