News and events

News and events

Care after death for our patients is still a huge priority for our mortuary

Gemma Norburn

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on every single department across our hospitals, and this is particularly being felt in our mortuary, which recently saw 16 colleagues redeployed from our pathology lab join the team.

Gemma Norburn (pictured) one of the anatomical pathology technologists working in our mortuary, has shared some of the changes she has experienced while we deal with Covid:

“Understandably there has been an increase in our workload, however, caring for our patients after death is still something we care deeply about and make time to do.

“What I have noticed is that we have a different relationship with the families. It’s very challenging for them due to the restrictions - we’re no longer holding viewings, and neither are many funeral directors.

“It’s a highly emotional situation for them and given we are in the mortuary, we do often deal with emotive telephone conversations, however, we are having much more than usual at the moment. Families are worried, but I’d like to reassure them that we are still caring for their loved ones as we usually would.

“The 16 staff from the pathology lab joined us at the end of March and have been brilliant. We’ve trained them in the booking in process and they just get on with it. It’s been really good for our team to have that extra help. We’ve also got two additional ladies providing admin support for us.

“What has been nice for us is the support we’ve had from across our Trust, and I can’t thank everyone enough. People don’t usually just pop into the mortuary, however, during this time lots of people have been coming in to see if we’re okay which has been really nice.

“We’ve also had lots of food donations to keep us going - especially lots of cake!”

Gemma, who writes her own blog, Mortuary Gem, also runs regular Death Cafes under usual circumstances, including at our hospitals. While she can’t currently hold these in the same format, she has been doing them via Zoom. The next one is on Tuesday 9 June. To find out more, or how to join, contact Gemma.




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