HEALTH bosses are working with a government agency to resolve problems at Worcestershire Royal Hospital’s mortuary.

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) discovered that the hospital had been using its post-mortem suite and old viewing room, where relatives say goodbye to their dead loved ones, as ‘temporary storage’ for dead bodies.

The organisation found that this had been going on almost continually for 18 months prior to the inspection in June last year.

However, the trust in charge of the site says it has since secured suitable alternative storage space.

The Worcester News revealed last week that the hospital viewing room in the A&E department is being used to treat patients during busy periods.

A HTA spokesman said: “During our inspection we identified a number of shortfalls against a number of HTA standards, some of which we judged to pose a risk to the dignity of the deceased.

“Consequently, we required the establishment to take immediate action to address the most serious issues and for the others to be managed through a longer term action plan that we agreed with the establishment, following the inspection.

“Since the report was published, we have been working closely with the hospital to ensure that it completes all agreed actions."

Inspectors discovered that pedestrians could sometimes see into part of the body store room when the door was open.

The report also showed that staff could not properly clean the floor of the post-mortem suite, raising concerns about 'dirty' trolleys contaminating 'clean' areas when they were removed from the room.

The HTA refused to reveal whether the hospital had fixed the most serious issues outlined in the report.

A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The issues highlighted in the report date back to an inspection last year. We took immediate action to deal with them at the time. We’ve since been working closely with the Human Tissue Authority who are satisfied with the action plan put in place.”

The HTA returned to the site in September 2017 to check on the hospital's progress.