February 29, 2024

Dead bodies left to decompose on trolleys at regional hospital: consultants

DEAD bodies have been left to decompose on trolleys at the mortuary of the regional hospital for the South East.

The shocking revelation was made in a damning letter written by four consultant pathologists at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) to Health Service Executive (HSE) chiefs.

In the letter, the pathologists detail how bodies leaked bodily fluids on to corridors, making  closed-coffin funerals unavoidable in some cases.

The letter, which was first published by the Waterford News & Star this week, said the mortuary lacks sufficient refrigeration and that the situation is so serious that some bodies simply decompose, causing “almost unspeakable” distress to families.

The horrific conditions were outlined by four consultant pathologists in a letter to Gerry O’Dwyer, chief executive of the South – South West Hospital Group in Cork last October. The letter was signed by UHW consultant pathologists Prof Rob Landers, Dr Fergus MacSweeney, Dr Nigam Shah and Dr Christine Shilling.

They also warned that the mortuary at UHW poses an environmental and health risks, because of the danger of infection spreading and the circulation of unfiltered air.

In a statement issued earlier today, the HSE confirmed UHW has recently received approval for a new replacement mortuary building.

They said the request for tender will be “issued shortly” and that it is hoped construction on the new facility will begin “before the end of the year”.

The statement adds: “University Hospital Waterford is currently examining interim arrangements to address the issues raised.”

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