NHS Grampian will move forward with plans for a “greatly needed” mortuary to replace facilities built before the outbreak of the Second World War.
A report discussed at a meeting of the health board set out the vision for new facilities at Foresterhill which will replace the current units at Foresterhill and Queen Street in Aberdeen.
The documents said the two units were in “poor physical condition” and there was no space to upgrade them.
A site at Foresterhill has been chosen for the new mortuary and it would be used by Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Orkney and Shetland councils as well as police, Aberdeen University and the Crown Office.
Members of the NHS Grampian board approved the plan to begin the business case, designing and financing needed to make the project a reality.
The proposed site for the new facility is between the new Foresterhill Health Centre and a warehouse and it has access for heavy goods vehicles in case of “mass fatalities”.
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Vice-chairwoman Rhona Atkinson told yesterday’s meeting of leading health authority officials the new mortuary was “greatly needed” having visited the current site herself.
Mrs Atkinson said: “It is greatly needed.
“I’ve been to the mortuary and the staff work in austere and old-fashioned circumstances.
“It’s very gratifying we are doing this as a multi-agency project.
“We are also going to be getting it earlier than we would’ve managed ourselves.
“It shows that we are working across boundaries and I think it is an excellent piece of work.”
NHS Grampian’s director of finance Alan Gray will lead negotiations with all of the bodies who are part of the project on behalf of the health board.
The discussions will focus on the finance, design, construction and operational management of the new site.
This will form the basis of a business case that will be presented to the NHS Grampian board in February.
Mr Gray said each of the organisations involved would be paying for the operating costs of the site.
He added: “In principle we have agreed we will contribute the land of the Foresterhill site.
“In terms of each partner they will pick up their own fair share of the running costs for it.”