Guidelines for the facilities and operation of hospital and forensic mortuaries

2. Organisation and management

Page last updated: 2004

    2.1 General

    When a mortuary is the administrative responsibility of an institution other than that which administers the hospital or the institution in which the mortuary is located, the administration arrangements should be clearly set out in a document of agreement between the institution in which the mortuary is located and the institution having administrative responsibility for providing autopsy and related services.
    All services provided by the mortuary and its operational procedures should be clearly and fully documented in a Mortuary Procedures Manual.
    The mortuary should have an organisation chart which clearly depicts its administrative structure and the reporting relationships for its entire staff.
    Comprehensive job and person specifications should exist for all mortuary staff.

    2.2 Supervision

    The mortuary should have an appropriate supervisory structure.
    In the absence of a designated manager or a supervisor, the administrative duties should be delegated to a person having appropriate knowledge of mortuary procedures and familiarity with current guidelines concerning the performance of autopsies.

    2.3 Administrative Practices

    Where possible, the administrative structure shall include a specialist pathologist. If the health unit administering the mortuary lacks a specialist pathologist on its staff, it is strongly recommended that formal arrangements are in place for a specialist pathologist experienced in mortuary practice to be retained in an advisory capacity.
    The mortuary shall maintain an up-to-date equipment inventory which shall include maintenance and repair records.
    The mortuary staff shall comply with institutional, human resources, OH and S and other relevant policies and authorised documentation of these policies should be readily accessible to all staff.