Single mortuary for all of Dorset to be established in Boscombe as Dorset County Council terminates contract

IMPACT: Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester

IMPACT: Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester

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Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

GRIEVING families in west Dorset will face having to travel to say farewell to loved ones in the latest round of cost-cutting initiatives, the Echo can reveal.

Dorset County Council, which pays Dorset County Hospital for mortuary services, has terminated its contract in order to establish a single mortuary for the entire county in Boscombe.

There are fears that the move could prevent those who live to the far west of the county being able to visit their loved ones for a final time because of the distance.

It has provoked outrage amongst funeral directors, who say it will have a ‘distressing’ impact on grieving families.

A spokesman for the Wessex Funeral Directors Association, which represents independent funeral businesses in Dorset, said: “We feel Dorset County Council has not given any consideration to the welfare of the bereaved, who may find themselves having to travel vast distances to identify or visit their loved ones.”

He added that the mortuary and bereavement services team at DCH, which carries out 500 post-mortems a year, has a ‘very good record of compassion and efficiency’.

The spokesman added: “We feel that the move to Boscombe will not achieve more efficiency, quite the opposite in fact, and savings, if any, will be negligible.”

Dorchester town and West Dorset District Councillor Alistair Chisholm said the move would be ‘unfortunate and inconvenient’ for grieving families.

He added: “If it saves money then that is something we do need to look at, but relatives must have a right to see the body if they wish. It’s just another squeeze on public services.”

A hospital source said he was concerned about the announcement.

He said: “The mortuary service at DCH gives a lot to the community. It really helps some people to grieve, especially if the death was sudden.

“The staff do reconstruction work so the loved ones can see them for one last time. Will that service be available at the new location? It really raises a lot of worrying questions.”

It is understood that those who die on wards at DCH will remain in the mortuary there, but those who are brought in from the community in circumstances where post-mortems need to be carried out to find out the cause of death, will be taken to Boscombe.

Three jobs are believed to be at risk, although it is not known if the posts will be transferred to the new location.

Head of Legal and Democratic Services at Dorset County Council, Jonathan Mair: “As part of merging the East and West Dorset Coroners’ areas into one for the whole county, we are working in partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole to use one purpose-built mortuary owned and run by Bournemouth Borough Council. We have therefore notified Dorset County Hospital that we will be terminating our existing mortuary services contract with them.”

Mr Mair said the merger grew from an ‘opportunity’ following the retirement of former West Dorset Coroner Michael Johnston and added that the move made ‘financial sense’.

He said: “The mortuary would never turn families away, but there is an encouragement for people to visit their loved ones at funeral homes rather than the mortuary because it is such a clinical environment.”

He added that the move is unlikely to affect where inquests will be held.

Council closes contract A spokesperson for Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have been given notice by Dorset County Council that they are terminating their agreement with us for the provision of mortuary services.

“The council has made it clear that their decision to terminate the arrangement does not reflect any dissatisfaction with the quality of service provided by Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

“It is simply that there is a need to work more effectively and to achieve savings by working with the other local authorities with a shared responsibility for the coroner’s service in Dorset.

“We are currently looking at what this change will mean for the Trust.”

Comments (25)

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9:25am Thu 6 Mar 14

echor23 says...

Dorset county council - you really are sick beyond recognition aren't you and once again have proved yourselves to be in human as evidently you are super human and members of your families don't die and you have no grief over them and don't wish to say goodbye to them.
Or do you have your own private mortuary for council members and families so you don't have to travel?! Wouldn't surprise me. What a conscience you must all have to sleep at night knowing that once again you have taken away people's rights and increased their grief tenfold when a loved one dies.
I'm sure this will haunt you all when you one day will be on your own death beds and wonder if anyone shall visit you so far away!!! It all catches up in the end council members and you can only deem yourselves so powerful and mighty for so long!!!
Dorset county council - you really are sick beyond recognition aren't you and once again have proved yourselves to be in human as evidently you are super human and members of your families don't die and you have no grief over them and don't wish to say goodbye to them. Or do you have your own private mortuary for council members and families so you don't have to travel?! Wouldn't surprise me. What a conscience you must all have to sleep at night knowing that once again you have taken away people's rights and increased their grief tenfold when a loved one dies. I'm sure this will haunt you all when you one day will be on your own death beds and wonder if anyone shall visit you so far away!!! It all catches up in the end council members and you can only deem yourselves so powerful and mighty for so long!!! echor23
  • Score: 22

9:31am Thu 6 Mar 14

Ophilum says...

When this council talks the talk you have to remember the tail of the crocked LINE on the road in Wimborne they have a leniency with the truth as they see it, it is not the same as the truth as we see it.
We are run by accountants that can,t even count.
When this council talks the talk you have to remember the tail of the crocked LINE on the road in Wimborne they have a leniency with the truth as they see it, it is not the same as the truth as we see it. We are run by accountants that can,t even count. Ophilum
  • Score: 7

10:00am Thu 6 Mar 14

Dave2207 says...

When the next big 'flu epidemic comes then there won't be enough space for the dead!
When the next big 'flu epidemic comes then there won't be enough space for the dead! Dave2207
  • Score: -8

10:34am Thu 6 Mar 14

Lord Spring says...

In the most extreme case Charmouth to Bournemouth East Cemetery to identify a deceased you could not dream it up.
And most likely being conveyed in a police vehicle so where is the cost saving
In the most extreme case Charmouth to Bournemouth East Cemetery to identify a deceased you could not dream it up. And most likely being conveyed in a police vehicle so where is the cost saving Lord Spring
  • Score: 9

11:14am Thu 6 Mar 14

BmthNewshound says...

There are some services whose value cannot be measured in financial terms. Dorset has more elderly people than almost any other part of the UK and to expect an elderly person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, someone they may have been married to for 50+ years, to travel from West Dorset to Boscombe just so that the Council can save a few quid is nothing short of cruel and heartless.
.
From a cost perspective it could also result in higher funeral costs for people living in West Dorset as undertakers will face increased costs in collecting the deceased from Boscombe. Add this to the increased costs councils have recently announced for cremation and burial and this could leave families unable to afford to give their loved ones a decent funeral.
There are some services whose value cannot be measured in financial terms. Dorset has more elderly people than almost any other part of the UK and to expect an elderly person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, someone they may have been married to for 50+ years, to travel from West Dorset to Boscombe just so that the Council can save a few quid is nothing short of cruel and heartless. . From a cost perspective it could also result in higher funeral costs for people living in West Dorset as undertakers will face increased costs in collecting the deceased from Boscombe. Add this to the increased costs councils have recently announced for cremation and burial and this could leave families unable to afford to give their loved ones a decent funeral. BmthNewshound
  • Score: 20

11:40am Thu 6 Mar 14

UrbanCrab says...

So this is what they mean by bringing increased trade to Boscombe...

Regenerating Boscombe from the ground downwards.
So this is what they mean by bringing increased trade to Boscombe... Regenerating Boscombe from the ground downwards. UrbanCrab
  • Score: 7

11:49am Thu 6 Mar 14

downmoor-ch63 says...

Lord Spring wrote:
In the most extreme case Charmouth to Bournemouth East Cemetery to identify a deceased you could not dream it up.
And most likely being conveyed in a police vehicle so where is the cost saving
LY.ME REGIS IS EVEN FURTHER AWAY
[quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: In the most extreme case Charmouth to Bournemouth East Cemetery to identify a deceased you could not dream it up. And most likely being conveyed in a police vehicle so where is the cost saving[/p][/quote]LY.ME REGIS IS EVEN FURTHER AWAY downmoor-ch63
  • Score: 5

12:08pm Thu 6 Mar 14

nickynoodah says...

knobdirt wants there in a bin bag youknow
knobdirt wants there in a bin bag youknow nickynoodah
  • Score: -11

12:14pm Thu 6 Mar 14

hadvar says...

Estate Agents could spin this, I can see the ads now : 'Boscombe : affordable housing in the heart of the mortuary district'.
Estate Agents could spin this, I can see the ads now : 'Boscombe : affordable housing in the heart of the mortuary district'. hadvar
  • Score: 5

12:20pm Thu 6 Mar 14

nickynoodah says...

folks are dying
who have never died before
folks are dying who have never died before nickynoodah
  • Score: -10

12:20pm Thu 6 Mar 14

60plus says...

Sounds like something BGH has dreamed up they failed with the living so let's get the dead.
Sounds like something BGH has dreamed up they failed with the living so let's get the dead. 60plus
  • Score: -2

12:22pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Browser123 says...

echor23 wrote:
Dorset county council - you really are sick beyond recognition aren't you and once again have proved yourselves to be in human as evidently you are super human and members of your families don't die and you have no grief over them and don't wish to say goodbye to them.
Or do you have your own private mortuary for council members and families so you don't have to travel?! Wouldn't surprise me. What a conscience you must all have to sleep at night knowing that once again you have taken away people's rights and increased their grief tenfold when a loved one dies.
I'm sure this will haunt you all when you one day will be on your own death beds and wonder if anyone shall visit you so far away!!! It all catches up in the end council members and you can only deem yourselves so powerful and mighty for so long!!!
Am not sure how things work at Dorchester.When my mother died in Bournemouth hospital she was taken to the hospital mortuary,and they contacted me and she was moved to the undertakers where I could say goodbye to her in the chapel of rest. The mortuary in Boscombe is very small and is in the grounds of Kings Park cemetery and I thought was for unidentified people. , so would seem a very small proportion of people would have to visit it. ??
[quote][p][bold]echor23[/bold] wrote: Dorset county council - you really are sick beyond recognition aren't you and once again have proved yourselves to be in human as evidently you are super human and members of your families don't die and you have no grief over them and don't wish to say goodbye to them. Or do you have your own private mortuary for council members and families so you don't have to travel?! Wouldn't surprise me. What a conscience you must all have to sleep at night knowing that once again you have taken away people's rights and increased their grief tenfold when a loved one dies. I'm sure this will haunt you all when you one day will be on your own death beds and wonder if anyone shall visit you so far away!!! It all catches up in the end council members and you can only deem yourselves so powerful and mighty for so long!!![/p][/quote]Am not sure how things work at Dorchester.When my mother died in Bournemouth hospital she was taken to the hospital mortuary,and they contacted me and she was moved to the undertakers where I could say goodbye to her in the chapel of rest. The mortuary in Boscombe is very small and is in the grounds of Kings Park cemetery and I thought was for unidentified people. , so would seem a very small proportion of people would have to visit it. ?? Browser123
  • Score: 13

12:25pm Thu 6 Mar 14

skydriver says...

Yet another faux pas from the council one couldn't make up such stupidity , we have a 4 year old grandson with more intelligence!! And these people are supposed to be running our towns, good grief !!!
Yet another faux pas from the council one couldn't make up such stupidity , we have a 4 year old grandson with more intelligence!! And these people are supposed to be running our towns, good grief !!! skydriver
  • Score: 2

12:49pm Thu 6 Mar 14

smhinto says...

It's a wonder that the Council are not charging the dead a fee for staying there.
It's a wonder that the Council are not charging the dead a fee for staying there. smhinto
  • Score: 1

2:19pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Baysider says...

BmthNewshound wrote:
There are some services whose value cannot be measured in financial terms. Dorset has more elderly people than almost any other part of the UK and to expect an elderly person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, someone they may have been married to for 50+ years, to travel from West Dorset to Boscombe just so that the Council can save a few quid is nothing short of cruel and heartless.
.
From a cost perspective it could also result in higher funeral costs for people living in West Dorset as undertakers will face increased costs in collecting the deceased from Boscombe. Add this to the increased costs councils have recently announced for cremation and burial and this could leave families unable to afford to give their loved ones a decent funeral.
There are NO services whose value cannot be measured in financial terms. This is just the latest in a long line of 'efficiencies' that has been made to stretch the ever decreasing pot of funds available to provide our public services.

It's unpleasant and upsetting for those directly effected of course but these are the results of the government's austerity drive write large. If you don't like it don't go out and vote the same way next time because you're getting EXACTLY what you voted for it you voted Tory.
[quote][p][bold]BmthNewshound[/bold] wrote: There are some services whose value cannot be measured in financial terms. Dorset has more elderly people than almost any other part of the UK and to expect an elderly person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, someone they may have been married to for 50+ years, to travel from West Dorset to Boscombe just so that the Council can save a few quid is nothing short of cruel and heartless. . From a cost perspective it could also result in higher funeral costs for people living in West Dorset as undertakers will face increased costs in collecting the deceased from Boscombe. Add this to the increased costs councils have recently announced for cremation and burial and this could leave families unable to afford to give their loved ones a decent funeral.[/p][/quote]There are NO services whose value cannot be measured in financial terms. This is just the latest in a long line of 'efficiencies' that has been made to stretch the ever decreasing pot of funds available to provide our public services. It's unpleasant and upsetting for those directly effected of course but these are the results of the government's austerity drive write large. If you don't like it don't go out and vote the same way next time because you're getting EXACTLY what you voted for it you voted Tory. Baysider
  • Score: 2

3:43pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

So even those in Sandbanks and Canford Cliffs are going to wind up dead in Boscombe.

Luckily they'll never know or be able to complain.
So even those in Sandbanks and Canford Cliffs are going to wind up dead in Boscombe. Luckily they'll never know or be able to complain. Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: 1

3:46pm Thu 6 Mar 14

nickynoodah says...

downmoor-ch63 wrote:
Lord Spring wrote:
In the most extreme case Charmouth to Bournemouth East Cemetery to identify a deceased you could not dream it up.
And most likely being conveyed in a police vehicle so where is the cost saving
LY.ME REGIS IS EVEN FURTHER AWAY
ROWLEY REGIS IS EVEN FURTHER AWAY
[quote][p][bold]downmoor-ch63[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: In the most extreme case Charmouth to Bournemouth East Cemetery to identify a deceased you could not dream it up. And most likely being conveyed in a police vehicle so where is the cost saving[/p][/quote]LY.ME REGIS IS EVEN FURTHER AWAY[/p][/quote]ROWLEY REGIS IS EVEN FURTHER AWAY nickynoodah
  • Score: 0

3:46pm Thu 6 Mar 14

rozmister says...

echor23 wrote:
Dorset county council - you really are sick beyond recognition aren't you and once again have proved yourselves to be in human as evidently you are super human and members of your families don't die and you have no grief over them and don't wish to say goodbye to them. Or do you have your own private mortuary for council members and families so you don't have to travel?! Wouldn't surprise me. What a conscience you must all have to sleep at night knowing that once again you have taken away people's rights and increased their grief tenfold when a loved one dies. I'm sure this will haunt you all when you one day will be on your own death beds and wonder if anyone shall visit you so far away!!! It all catches up in the end council members and you can only deem yourselves so powerful and mighty for so long!!!
You wouldn't be on your deathbed in a mortuary, they're for the dead. The vast majority of people visit their family in a funeral home not the mortuary, you can say goodbye in the funeral home at your leisure.
[quote][p][bold]echor23[/bold] wrote: Dorset county council - you really are sick beyond recognition aren't you and once again have proved yourselves to be in human as evidently you are super human and members of your families don't die and you have no grief over them and don't wish to say goodbye to them. Or do you have your own private mortuary for council members and families so you don't have to travel?! Wouldn't surprise me. What a conscience you must all have to sleep at night knowing that once again you have taken away people's rights and increased their grief tenfold when a loved one dies. I'm sure this will haunt you all when you one day will be on your own death beds and wonder if anyone shall visit you so far away!!! It all catches up in the end council members and you can only deem yourselves so powerful and mighty for so long!!![/p][/quote]You wouldn't be on your deathbed in a mortuary, they're for the dead. The vast majority of people visit their family in a funeral home not the mortuary, you can say goodbye in the funeral home at your leisure. rozmister
  • Score: 8

4:05pm Thu 6 Mar 14

sunny1966 says...

Dorset County Council Dont give a f....k overpaid morons I wonder why Boscombe !!!!!!!!!!!
Dorset County Council Dont give a f....k overpaid morons I wonder why Boscombe !!!!!!!!!!! sunny1966
  • Score: -2

5:17pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Frogsporn says...

So it saves Dorset Council money by concentrating all mortuary services in one place in the county but as a consequence it increases costs to bereaved families in transport and funeral costs.

So the council save money centrally but those who live in Dorset pay more.

Remind me who pays for Dorset Council in the first place? Those who are now bearing this cost personally, that's who.

So to the residents of Dorset, where exactly are the savings being made? I'd hazard a guess that the overall cost of this change is an total increase in moneys spent.

Any savings are on paper....
So it saves Dorset Council money by concentrating all mortuary services in one place in the county but as a consequence it increases costs to bereaved families in transport and funeral costs. So the council save money centrally but those who live in Dorset pay more. Remind me who pays for Dorset Council in the first place? Those who are now bearing this cost personally, that's who. So to the residents of Dorset, where exactly are the savings being made? I'd hazard a guess that the overall cost of this change is an total increase in moneys spent. Any savings are on paper.... Frogsporn
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Thu 6 Mar 14

RM says...

If you;re suddenly bereft of a loved one are you really up to driving (or even being driven) halfway across the county to identify them or say good bye to them?

How much exactly will be saved by this change? Perhaps even more money could be saved by downsizing some of the Councils & Cllrs?

Remember that both this year & next year there are elections of various sorts. Please do register to vote, get out on polling day & cast your vote - and think very carefully on where you're going to put your 'X'.
If you;re suddenly bereft of a loved one are you really up to driving (or even being driven) halfway across the county to identify them or say good bye to them? How much exactly will be saved by this change? Perhaps even more money could be saved by downsizing some of the Councils & Cllrs? Remember that both this year & next year there are elections of various sorts. Please do register to vote, get out on polling day & cast your vote - and think very carefully on where you're going to put your 'X'. RM
  • Score: 1

8:11pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Very Old Pensioner says...

Boscombe,the dead centre of Dorset.
Boscombe,the dead centre of Dorset. Very Old Pensioner
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Baysider says...

RM wrote:
If you;re suddenly bereft of a loved one are you really up to driving (or even being driven) halfway across the county to identify them or say good bye to them?

How much exactly will be saved by this change? Perhaps even more money could be saved by downsizing some of the Councils & Cllrs?

Remember that both this year & next year there are elections of various sorts. Please do register to vote, get out on polling day & cast your vote - and think very carefully on where you're going to put your 'X'.
I agree wholeheartedly RM, lets vote this penny pinching, hopelessly out of depth bunch of ex-Eton toffs out and give someone new a go at running the country. Someone who might actually care about the levels of public services available and not see the people who work in them as a very convenient target to distract the public from the obscene sums being paid to their mates in the City. Oh, you meant UKIP didn't you....oh dear, oh dear...
[quote][p][bold]RM[/bold] wrote: If you;re suddenly bereft of a loved one are you really up to driving (or even being driven) halfway across the county to identify them or say good bye to them? How much exactly will be saved by this change? Perhaps even more money could be saved by downsizing some of the Councils & Cllrs? Remember that both this year & next year there are elections of various sorts. Please do register to vote, get out on polling day & cast your vote - and think very carefully on where you're going to put your 'X'.[/p][/quote]I agree wholeheartedly RM, lets vote this penny pinching, hopelessly out of depth bunch of ex-Eton toffs out and give someone new a go at running the country. Someone who might actually care about the levels of public services available and not see the people who work in them as a very convenient target to distract the public from the obscene sums being paid to their mates in the City. Oh, you meant UKIP didn't you....oh dear, oh dear... Baysider
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Phixer says...

Browser123 wrote:
echor23 wrote:
Dorset county council - you really are sick beyond recognition aren't you and once again have proved yourselves to be in human as evidently you are super human and members of your families don't die and you have no grief over them and don't wish to say goodbye to them.
Or do you have your own private mortuary for council members and families so you don't have to travel?! Wouldn't surprise me. What a conscience you must all have to sleep at night knowing that once again you have taken away people's rights and increased their grief tenfold when a loved one dies.
I'm sure this will haunt you all when you one day will be on your own death beds and wonder if anyone shall visit you so far away!!! It all catches up in the end council members and you can only deem yourselves so powerful and mighty for so long!!!
Am not sure how things work at Dorchester.When my mother died in Bournemouth hospital she was taken to the hospital mortuary,and they contacted me and she was moved to the undertakers where I could say goodbye to her in the chapel of rest. The mortuary in Boscombe is very small and is in the grounds of Kings Park cemetery and I thought was for unidentified people. , so would seem a very small proportion of people would have to visit it. ??
Indeed, but that doesn't stop a lot of morons complaining about something without reading the article or thinking about the conclusions.

Like you, when my mother died in hospital her undertaker took her body to their parlour where we paid our last respects. Didn't have to go anywhere near Dorchester, Poole, King's Park or any other mortuaries.
[quote][p][bold]Browser123[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]echor23[/bold] wrote: Dorset county council - you really are sick beyond recognition aren't you and once again have proved yourselves to be in human as evidently you are super human and members of your families don't die and you have no grief over them and don't wish to say goodbye to them. Or do you have your own private mortuary for council members and families so you don't have to travel?! Wouldn't surprise me. What a conscience you must all have to sleep at night knowing that once again you have taken away people's rights and increased their grief tenfold when a loved one dies. I'm sure this will haunt you all when you one day will be on your own death beds and wonder if anyone shall visit you so far away!!! It all catches up in the end council members and you can only deem yourselves so powerful and mighty for so long!!![/p][/quote]Am not sure how things work at Dorchester.When my mother died in Bournemouth hospital she was taken to the hospital mortuary,and they contacted me and she was moved to the undertakers where I could say goodbye to her in the chapel of rest. The mortuary in Boscombe is very small and is in the grounds of Kings Park cemetery and I thought was for unidentified people. , so would seem a very small proportion of people would have to visit it. ??[/p][/quote]Indeed, but that doesn't stop a lot of morons complaining about something without reading the article or thinking about the conclusions. Like you, when my mother died in hospital her undertaker [of which there is a wide choice] took her body to their parlour where we paid our last respects. Didn't have to go anywhere near Dorchester, Poole, King's Park or any other mortuaries. Phixer
  • Score: 1

2:20pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Avengerboy says...

All out of the same big tax bucket.
All out of the same big tax bucket. Avengerboy
  • Score: 0

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