University Hospital Waterford has said there is no evidence to substantiate claims made by consultants of poor and dangerous mortuary facilities at the hospital.
There was widespread outrage last week after a letter written by four consultants at the hospital revealed dead bodies were being stored on trolleys in corridors due to lack of space.
However, the South/South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) and University Hospital Waterford has said it has not received any complaint from any member of the public regarding the mortuary and no incident reports have been lodged by any members of staff.
“The SSWHG and University Hospital Waterford currently have no evidence that would substantiate the claims contained in recent correspondence,” a statement read.
However, they said they have been “fully aware of the challenge associated with the mortuary infrastructure for some considerable time” and a new facility will be delivered in the next two years.
In relation to contact from bereaved families and funeral directors since the initial recent media reports, the hospital said it had received a query from one family and engaging with the family concerned.
Health Minister Simon Harris has committed to building a new mortuary at the hospital following the shocking details of conditions at the current facility. A mobile refrigerated unit will be installed until the new facility is built.
Mr Harris said there are a number of mortuaries around the country that now require investment and improvements and Waterford would be among the facilities that will be upgraded.
We have the funding in place to build a new mortuary, my understanding is they are going to submit tender documents to get on with that now in the coming weeks but taking interim measures is clearly important and that’s what they have done now and they are bringing in extra refrigeration.
A meeting between local TDs, hospital management and the SSWHG CEO was held yesterday afternoon.
Waterford TD David Cullinane has also written to the chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee asking that the committee fully examine serious issues raised by four consultant pathologists in the letter to the South/Southwest Hospital Group, saying there are serious questions to be answered by hospital management, the hospital group, and the HSE.
It is understood that Hiqa have contacted the hospital and will be investigating the matter.