Intended for healthcare professionals


Mortuary facilities

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 28 April 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1066

Funding is needed, not scapegoats

  1. Michael Frampton, chairman, medical staff committee (
  1. Bedford Hospital, Bedford MK40 2AW
  2. Northern General Hospital, Sheffield S5 7AU
  3. Department of Anatomy, Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, 3168, Australia
  4. 3 Blenheim Road, Wakefield WF1 3JZ
  5. James Paget Hospital, Great Yarmouth NR31 6LA

    EDITOR—I agree with Abbasi's editorial about the Bedford Hospital “bodies in the chapel” affair.1 In a statement to the House of Commons Alan Milburn, the health secretary, asserted that this was not a problem of funding or capacity but a management failure. I would suggest that he was misinformed.

    Bedford Hospital was to have had a major programme of rebuilding 11 years ago, including a new pathology department and mortuary. This plan was cancelled at the last minute as a result of the overspend on the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The mortuary, which was built in the 1950s when the hospital was less than half its present size, has undergone minor refurbishment, but repeated bids for the new pathology department that the hospital needs have been ignored. As recently as last year, the regional director visited the department and was shown the …

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