Page last updated at 18:19 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Staff ready to open new mortuary


Public mortuary due to open

A new mortuary which cost 2.3m to build and equip is due to open in North Somerset.

The building at Flax Bourton replaces hospital mortuaries in the Greater Bristol area which no longer meet EU standards. It can hold 159 bodies.

In April 2006 Coroner Paul Forrest warned that bodies would "pile up" at hospitals and funeral homes because existing facilities could not cope.

A laboratory has also been built to train pathologists and technicians.

'Forensic facilities'

Speaking in 2006 Mr Forrest, the coroner for Avon district, said facilities at Southmead Hospital were below standard and would not cope when a neighbouring facility at Frenchay Hospital closed.

"Bodies will be piling up in the hospitals and at the funeral directors and no funerals will be able to take place because of that.

"The effect on the bereaved will be absolutely appalling," he added.

The new labs were built off the back of a Home Office grant to provide regional forensic facilities.

The laboratory will open on 2 March.

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