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University Hospital, Cardiff 'critical' mortuary failings

University Hospital, Cardiff 'critical' mortuary failings
From BBC - November 8, 2017

"Significant shortfalls" in standards in mortuary procedures at Wales' biggest hospital have been criticised by a watchdog.

It involves tissue samples at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff from 42 post-mortem examinations, ordered by police and coroners across Wales and Gloucestershire.

Samples were kept longer than necessary, in one case for five years.

Cardiff and Vale health board has "apologised unreservedly" to families.

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) found three critical and 14 major shortfalls in an inspection in August.

The findings involve:

The health board said it was still trying to contact four families and there were two cases where the family's instructions for disposing of materials were unclear.

The designated officer in charge of the licence to undertake the mortuary and pathology work has been replaced and has returned to a clinical role.

Sarah Bedwell, HTA director of regulation, said the inspection had identified "a number of serious issues requiring urgent action".

She said there was still significant work to bring the mortuary back up to an acceptable level of compliance.

A "significant store" of whole organs and tissue samples had built up for which the hospital did not have up-to-date records to ensure timely disposal or to show they were not being kept and used without consent.

Dr Graham Shortland, Cardiff and Vale medical director, said: "We are deeply sorry for any unnecessary distress that the findings in the report may cause.

"We are taking the inspection report very seriously and have had teams of people working on putting right the areas identified."

'Deterioration'

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