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tender process

HSE issues tender for construction of new mortuary at University Hospital Waterford

It follows the suspension of mortuary services at the facility earlier this month.

THE HEALTH SERVICE Executive (HSE) has issued a tender for the construction of a new mortuary at Waterford University Hospital.

The request follows the suspension of mortuary services at the hospital after concerns were raised about dead bodies being left on trolleys on corridors there last month.

It was issued on the Government’s tenders website last Friday, with RTÉ reporting earlier this month that Minister for Health Simon Harris had given the HSE permission to begin a process to replace the existing facility.

The contract winner will be required to build a new mortuary and associated chapel, with an overall area of approximately 980 square metres, at the hospital.

Prospective bidders have until 11 June to respond to the request, although it is not clear when the contract winner will be announced.

According to a letter signed by four consultant pathologists at the hospital, which was made public last month, bodies were left on trolleys in corridors and leaked “body fluids on to the floor” because of inadequate storage and refrigeration space at the facility.

The letter also warned that closed-coffin funerals had to be held as a result of bodies decomposing in corridors in some cases.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar later described the claims as “a strange story” and said he had seen no evidence to support the claims, before apologising for his remarks.

The South-South West Hospital Group also confirmed that a mobile refrigeration unit would be installed at the site while the mortuary was out of use.

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