Torbay Hospital mortuary transformation

Published: 31 August 2018

The mortuary at Torbay Hospital has been completely transformed over the last 12 months, including a full refurbishment, investment in equipment and significant changes to the way the service is run.

When the NHS was first formed, 70 years ago, its commitment was to provide ‘cradle to grave’ care – and this investment is evidence of that continued commitment today. Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Torbay Hospital, has spent over £212,000 to update the facilities and improve the environment for staff and visiting families.

The refurbishment included a redesign and rebuild to create more space and increase capacity, as the original department was completed in 1969, when the population of Torbay and South Devon was much smaller. The department has also been completely redecorated to provide a much brighter, lighter and more modern space.

The Trust also invested in new mortuary equipment including state of the art refrigeration units and better security systems. Staff retention has also improved through the development of a better working environment along with a comprehensive training programme created to help support them in their roles.

The changes have been in put in place following a report in August last year by the HTA, who highlighted a number of concerns.

The Trust worked closely with the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), staff and external partners, to ensure all the changes planned met the needs of the new HTA standards, along with the growing needs of the Torbay and South Devon community.

Rob Dyer, Medical Director at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Mortuary team have worked incredibly hard to make the improvements as quickly as possible, working in partnership with the HTA, so that we not only meet but exceed expected standards. It is so important for families and loved ones to know that we are caring sensitively for those who have died while being under our care. We are more confident than ever that we can provide care and preserve dignity for these patients and for their grieving relatives.”

A spokesperson from the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) said:

“We acknowledge the significant work that has gone towards bringing the mortuary back to compliance with the required standards.”