Significant investment is to be made in new mortuary facilities for the north-east and northern isles to ensure “dignity for the deceased”.
The existing two facilities in Aberdeen have been assessed as “no longer fit for purpose” and are to be replaced.
A new integrated facility based at the city’ Fosterhill Hospital will be created to serve the communities.
Mortuary facilities at Dr Gray’s in Elgin will remain open.
Grampian NHS Board will be asked to approve recommendations for the development today.
Clinicians, service managers and members of the public have all highlighted a need for improvement after attending the services.
And an NHS Grampian paper on the investment needed to bring mortuary facilities up to standard notes the new facility would be “innovative”, meet “expectations” and provide “dignity for the deceased”.
It reads: “The design and functionality of both the existing facilities located on the Foresterhill Campus, built in 1935, and on Queen Street in Aberdeen City Centre are in poor physical condition.
“The ability to upgrade the existing facilities is also significantly limited due to space constraints.”
Members of Aberdeen City Council’s growth committee are being asked to approve £800,000 to prepare a business case for moving the facility.
They are expected to be in favour of that proposal as the relocation of the city centre mortuary is essential to the redevelopment of Queen Street.
The local authority has lofty ambitions for the area, with a £150 million housing and retail scheme on the table as part of the 25-year city centre masterplan.
The report being discussed today will outline some of the benefits the new mortuary development will bring.
It is hoped the modern integrated facility will result in a “reduction in complaints around the speed of release of the deceased” and a reduction in “communication costs and transportation costs between facilities”.
Improved working and training environments for staff, a “sensitive visitor experience” and reduction of “reported incidents” were also outlined.
In the event of a mass casualty incident, it would also provide the required access and space for vehicles and staff.
A more detailed report on the plans will be submitted to the NHS board in February.