HC Deb 11 March 2003 vol 401 c233W
Mr. Olner

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will require hospital trusts to set in place procedures to ensure that funeral staff are aware of infection that may be present in a dead body; [99758]

(2) what action he will take to ensure that funeral staff are properly advised of risk of infection arising from the removal of an infected body from hospital premises. [99757]

Ms Blears

Trusts should already be aware of "Safe working and the prevention of infection in the mortuary and post-mortem room", produced by the Health and Safety Commission's Health Services Advisory Committee* published this year. This guidance focuses on preventing and controlling infection risks in mortuary and post-mortem room practice in accordance with duties under health and safety law. It also covers arrangements for undertakers and ambulance staff based on departmental advice that undertakers need to know if a body is or may be infectious and it provides a specimen infection control notification sheet.

The Department has had contact with funeral directors' professional associations on this issue previously and will keep them informed as appropriate of any new guidance from our advisory committees.

* ISBN: 0 7176 2293 2, 2003.