Date lodged: 10 February 2017
To ask the Scottish Government when it last made an assessment of the mortuary estate.
Answered by: Shona Robison 10 March 2017
In October 2016, the Minister for Public Health and Sport wrote to NHS Board Chief Executives to provide details as to what mortuary facilities they are responsible for and whether their facilities comply with the current guidance on mortuary provision. Furthermore, the letter noted that many small hospitals have no mortuary facility but may have a body storage area. In these instances the Minister asked for reassurance that appropriate measures are in place to ensure suitable access and viewing arrangements are made with another facility (NHS, Local Authority or a local undertaker).
Twelve of the 14 territorial Health Boards generally reported no issues regarding their mortuary provision and they provided assurance of adequate body storage facilities and either on-site viewing facilities or arrangements with local funeral directors or other hospitals/facilities for viewings. The two remaining Boards (NHS Highland and NHS Tayside) highlighted some issues that they were managing, but they provided plans as to how they would address these issues.