Opponents criticise council's single mortuary plan for Dorset as 'horrendous' burden

Opponents criticise council's single mortuary plan for Dorset as 'horrendous' burden

CONTRACT TERMINATED: Dorset County Hospital

EFFECT: Clive Chamberlain

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A SINGLE mortuary for the whole of Dorset will be a ‘horrendous’ burden on families living in the west of the county, opponents have said.

As reported in the Echo, Dorset County Council has terminated the contract with Dorset County Hospital to provide mortuary services in favour of creating a single facility in Boscombe to serve Dorset.

The move, part of a merger of coroners services, is expected to save £50,000 a year.

Simon Bowkett the Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for South Dorset, said: “I do have sympathy with local authorities, which are being asked to save eye-watering amounts of money.

“Over the last three years councils have been able to make necessary savings almost invisibly, by voluntary redundancies and early retirements.

“Having to travel to Boscombe to see their loved ones or identify their bodies, that is going to be a horrendous experience for people.”

A hospital source said: “A lot of people do visit the mortuary to see their loved ones for a final time.

“It’s not at all clinical, there’s a special viewing room and it does really help people.

“It could be a week later if they had to wait to go to the funeral home, and that week is going to feel like a lifetime.

“It is these services that are seen as expendable.”

The source added: “Someone whose relative has died traumatically is already going to be in a highly emotional state.

“They should not have the added stress of travelling from the north or west of the county to Boscombe.”

Former chairman of the Dorset Police Federation Clive Chamberlain said there could be a ‘knock on’ effect on police services.

He said: “If a police officer deals with someone who is killed in a road traffic accident for example, in order to provide continuity of evidence for the coroner, he has to be able to say that the body that left the scene is the same one that arrived at the mortuary.

“This will mean officers having to travel huge distances.”

West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin said: “As my own father died recently in Dorset County Hospital, I am very aware of the excellent mortuary services that they have been providing – and I shall want to be sure that any new arrangements will deliver the same, excellent level of service.”

Comments (9)

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6:49am Fri 7 Mar 14

Fabians says...

This is a terrible idea. The cost of transporting bodies to Boscombe and back to funeral homes in Weymouth and Dorchester would surely outweigh the costs of keeping the mortuary at DCH going?
We have used this service and it was essential for us to see our relative at the time of death to make some sense of what happened.
I feel that by closing the mortuary you will be taking this opportunity away from those who cannot travel. It isn't morally right and the saving in monetary terms isn't that great.
This is a terrible idea. The cost of transporting bodies to Boscombe and back to funeral homes in Weymouth and Dorchester would surely outweigh the costs of keeping the mortuary at DCH going? We have used this service and it was essential for us to see our relative at the time of death to make some sense of what happened. I feel that by closing the mortuary you will be taking this opportunity away from those who cannot travel. It isn't morally right and the saving in monetary terms isn't that great. Fabians
  • Score: 6

7:49am Fri 7 Mar 14

tufty says...

This will mean extra cost for a funeral.
The transport of a body to and fro to Boscombe will have to be paid by all
involved.
This will not save any money in fact it will cost more.
Any death which the coroner will be involved in the cost will increase plus an increase in transportation time and money.
Tufty
This will mean extra cost for a funeral. The transport of a body to and fro to Boscombe will have to be paid by all involved. This will not save any money in fact it will cost more. Any death which the coroner will be involved in the cost will increase plus an increase in transportation time and money. Tufty tufty
  • Score: 10

7:56am Fri 7 Mar 14

Dorset Guy1 says...

Fabians wrote:
This is a terrible idea. The cost of transporting bodies to Boscombe and back to funeral homes in Weymouth and Dorchester would surely outweigh the costs of keeping the mortuary at DCH going?
We have used this service and it was essential for us to see our relative at the time of death to make some sense of what happened.
I feel that by closing the mortuary you will be taking this opportunity away from those who cannot travel. It isn't morally right and the saving in monetary terms isn't that great.
This is the key who is going to take the cost of transporting a body from say Lyme Regis to Bournemouth and back a 3 hour plus round trip at cost of say £250 each way (Vehicle fuel and wages) If a autopsy is required on someone who has died suddenly at home or in the street the family do not have to bear the cost so difficult to see where the savings will come as the hospitals still need their mortuaries to store bodies and if autopsies still carried out there as well where are the savings factoring in the investment at Boscombe
[quote][p][bold]Fabians[/bold] wrote: This is a terrible idea. The cost of transporting bodies to Boscombe and back to funeral homes in Weymouth and Dorchester would surely outweigh the costs of keeping the mortuary at DCH going? We have used this service and it was essential for us to see our relative at the time of death to make some sense of what happened. I feel that by closing the mortuary you will be taking this opportunity away from those who cannot travel. It isn't morally right and the saving in monetary terms isn't that great.[/p][/quote]This is the key who is going to take the cost of transporting a body from say Lyme Regis to Bournemouth and back a 3 hour plus round trip at cost of say £250 each way (Vehicle fuel and wages) If a autopsy is required on someone who has died suddenly at home or in the street the family do not have to bear the cost so difficult to see where the savings will come as the hospitals still need their mortuaries to store bodies and if autopsies still carried out there as well where are the savings factoring in the investment at Boscombe Dorset Guy1
  • Score: 4

7:56am Fri 7 Mar 14

Dorset Guy1 says...

Fabians wrote:
This is a terrible idea. The cost of transporting bodies to Boscombe and back to funeral homes in Weymouth and Dorchester would surely outweigh the costs of keeping the mortuary at DCH going?
We have used this service and it was essential for us to see our relative at the time of death to make some sense of what happened.
I feel that by closing the mortuary you will be taking this opportunity away from those who cannot travel. It isn't morally right and the saving in monetary terms isn't that great.
This is the key who is going to take the cost of transporting a body from say Lyme Regis to Bournemouth and back a 3 hour plus round trip at cost of say £250 each way (Vehicle fuel and wages) If a autopsy is required on someone who has died suddenly at home or in the street the family do not have to bear the cost so difficult to see where the savings will come as the hospitals still need their mortuaries to store bodies and if autopsies still carried out there as well where are the savings factoring in the investment at Boscombe
[quote][p][bold]Fabians[/bold] wrote: This is a terrible idea. The cost of transporting bodies to Boscombe and back to funeral homes in Weymouth and Dorchester would surely outweigh the costs of keeping the mortuary at DCH going? We have used this service and it was essential for us to see our relative at the time of death to make some sense of what happened. I feel that by closing the mortuary you will be taking this opportunity away from those who cannot travel. It isn't morally right and the saving in monetary terms isn't that great.[/p][/quote]This is the key who is going to take the cost of transporting a body from say Lyme Regis to Bournemouth and back a 3 hour plus round trip at cost of say £250 each way (Vehicle fuel and wages) If a autopsy is required on someone who has died suddenly at home or in the street the family do not have to bear the cost so difficult to see where the savings will come as the hospitals still need their mortuaries to store bodies and if autopsies still carried out there as well where are the savings factoring in the investment at Boscombe Dorset Guy1
  • Score: 0

10:31am Fri 7 Mar 14

elloello1980 says...

The council are doing this to save 50K! A tiny amount in the grand scale of things, which makes this decision even more of a joke! sake the person who proposed this, and my guess is we'd have save more than scrapping the mortuary
The council are doing this to save 50K! A tiny amount in the grand scale of things, which makes this decision even more of a joke! sake the person who proposed this, and my guess is we'd have save more than scrapping the mortuary elloello1980
  • Score: 4

10:33am Fri 7 Mar 14

elloello1980 says...

elloello1980 wrote:
The council are doing this to save 50K! A tiny amount in the grand scale of things, which makes this decision even more of a joke! sake the person who proposed this, and my guess is we'd have save more than scrapping the mortuary
*sack :/
[quote][p][bold]elloello1980[/bold] wrote: The council are doing this to save 50K! A tiny amount in the grand scale of things, which makes this decision even more of a joke! sake the person who proposed this, and my guess is we'd have save more than scrapping the mortuary[/p][/quote]*sack :/ elloello1980
  • Score: 1

11:23am Fri 7 Mar 14

portlandboy says...

It about time that the DCC stand up and say NO to finding savings because of the Government cuts. This surely can't be the best, easiest or most humane way to save such a pitiful sum of money. If it is, the Government should hang their heads in shame for putting councils in such a disgraceful situation.

MP Oliver Letwin states that after his own father died and he experienced the good services of the DCH mortuary, he hopes that the same excellent service will be provided in any new facility. Well, the level of service may still be outstanding at a different mortuary, but he has not addressed the fact that such a long return trip will have to be made which, by anyone's standards, will have a detrimental effect on people's grieving process.

This is so very wrong.
It about time that the DCC stand up and say NO to finding savings because of the Government cuts. This surely can't be the best, easiest or most humane way to save such a pitiful sum of money. If it is, the Government should hang their heads in shame for putting councils in such a disgraceful situation. MP Oliver Letwin states that after his own father died and he experienced the good services of the DCH mortuary, he hopes that the same excellent service will be provided in any new facility. Well, the level of service may still be outstanding at a different mortuary, but he has not addressed the fact that such a long return trip will have to be made which, by anyone's standards, will have a detrimental effect on people's grieving process. This is so very wrong. portlandboy
  • Score: 5

12:30pm Fri 7 Mar 14

mr commonsense says...

The age of angst.
The age of angst. mr commonsense
  • Score: -3

5:05pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Don't get me started says...

DCC has spent millions changing schools from three tier to two tier in Purbeck and in the process will have demolished and rebuilt two schools and having spent hundreds of thousands on Wareham primary are now to relocate that school too. Heads need to roll because this wanton waste of money is affecting vital services for their council taxpayers and this is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Their financial management is deeply questionable and those responsible should be held accountable. In fact it should have happened a long time ago as DCC seem to c**k up just about every major project they are involved in. Yes, they have seen a cut in government funding but if they didn't waste so much there would be money left in the pot for services such as this.
DCC has spent millions changing schools from three tier to two tier in Purbeck and in the process will have demolished and rebuilt two schools and having spent hundreds of thousands on Wareham primary are now to relocate that school too. Heads need to roll because this wanton waste of money is affecting vital services for their council taxpayers and this is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Their financial management is deeply questionable and those responsible should be held accountable. In fact it should have happened a long time ago as DCC seem to c**k up just about every major project they are involved in. Yes, they have seen a cut in government funding but if they didn't waste so much there would be money left in the pot for services such as this. Don't get me started
  • Score: 3

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