Refrigerated spaces added at mortuary where 'bodies on trolleys left to leak'
The temporary modular mortuary providing extra refrigerated space for the deceased who need to be accommodated at University Hospital Waterford is now operational.
It will mean the number of refrigerated spaces available to pathologists has risen from six to 13.
The temporary solution follows the concerns of four pathologists who revealed that conditions in the hospital mortuary were so bad that bodies had to be placed on trolleys in the corridor, leaving some to leak and forcing a closed coffin funeral.
Families were distressed and three have come forward with complaints since the disclosures.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said the modular building has been on site since Friday, but she declined to say how much it costs.
Capital approval has also been received to proceed to tender with the replacement of the mortuary and post-mortem facilities.
"As stated in previous communications, it is expected that this development will be completed within approximately two years," she added.
The approved total project capital budget is €5.67m. This includes estimated costs for design, construction, equipping, and VAT.
Health Minister Simon Harris has said there will be a review of the issues of concern around the mortuary and terms of reference will be drawn up.
Meanwhile, Portlaoise Hospital has been awarded an Irish Hospice Foundation and HSE Design and Dignity grant to further develop end-of-life and bereavement care.
The HSE said that hospitals can be "very unhospitable places for newly bereaved people and families. Hospital teams have so far created relaxing, spacious family rooms within busy acute wards, upgraded mortuaries into welcoming, respectful environments and redesigned viewing rooms."