Could pathology, including mortuary services, now be a 'Cinderella'area suffering as chief executives are forced to concentrate on the waiting-list initiative?

Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd sets defined standards of practice in pathology, including mortuary facilities that are part of NHS histology services.

Trusts assess themselves voluntarily against those standards, followed by a CPA inspection of premises.

Executive manager of CPA Cheryl Blair told HSJ that problems with mortuaries were 'fairly widespread'.

'The fabric of mortuaries is poor and old and badly in need of refurbishment. It is not specifically a body storage issue.'

But she stresses that there is 'no over-riding criticism of the quality of the work' done by staff and there is no 'short-term fix' to the difficulties. 'It requires a great deal of money and time.'