REDDITCH'S Alexandra Hospital has been named and shamed as part of a damning report into failings in mortuaries.

The hospital has been highlighted for its lack of dignity of the deceased as well as health and safety fears of staff working in the morgue.

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA), which regulates mortuaries where post-mortem examinations take place, said there has been an "increase in shortfalls" over the last two years.

It comes as an investigation by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) found that the number of "major" and "critical" failures have risen sharply since 2015/16.

The increase has coincided with mortuaries being given new standards to adhere to.

Due to the revised standards, officials expected a rise in minor shortfalls, but not as many major ones.

"In the last couple of years we have noted an increase in shortfalls, including major and critical, exceeding what we would have expected given the recent changes in our inspection standards," said the HTA's director of regulatory delivery Nicolette Harrison.

"We expect all establishments to meet our standards, to ensure public confidence that mortuaries are handling bodies with appropriate dignity and care."

The figures obtained by the HSJ show that in 2015/16 there were 10 major failures.

This dipped to seven the following year then rose to 151 in 2017/18.

In 2017/18 there were eight critical failures - shortfalls which pose a significant risk to human safety and/or dignity or is a breach of the Human Tissue Act 2004.

None were recorded in the two previous years.

Failures identified in HTA inspections last year and recently highlighted was the floor in the body store at the Alexandra Hospital.

Inspectors said that the floor could not be properly cleaned. Meanwhile the hospital's freezer used to store bodies which "pose a significant health and safety or environmental risk" was found to be dirty.

Inspectors wrote in the report: "The poor condition of these key items of equipment poses significant risks to the dignity of the deceased and health and safety of staff working in this environment."

A spokesman from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: "The issues highlighted in the report date back to an inspection last year.

"We took immediate action to deal with them at the time, fitting new flooring at the Alexandra mortuary and replacing temporary storage units at Worcestershire Royal mortuary with more suitable alternatives.”