Cellular Pathology - Mortuary services 

  • Refrigerated body storage at the Institute of Neurology and University College Hospital.
  • Viewing rooms at the Institute of Neurology and University College Hospital.
  • High risk autopsy facility
  • Hospital and Coroner-requested autopsies
  • Special expertise in neuropathological conditions (including CJD) and perinatal pathology
  • Observation gallery giving full view of both routine and high hisk post mortem rooms

When a death occurs

A death must be confirmed by a member of the medical staff before transferring the body to the mortuary. Please also ensure that the mortuary staff are informed of the death; please leave details of the ward or department where the death occurred, together with the time of death and the name of the patient.
A Death or Stillbirth Certificate must be completed as soon as possible. If the deceased is to be cremated, a Cremation Form must be completed.

Informing the coroner

In certain circumstances, the Coroner must be informed about a death. An autopsy (post mortem), may be ordered. The relatives should be informed of this possibility. Reportable deaths include: death within 24 hours of admission; death within 24 hours of surgery; accidents; suicide; industrial disease; suspected poisoning; abortion; maternal death; patients for whom the cause of death remains unknown.

For deaths at the Heart Hospital, inform the Westminster Coroner’s Office.
 
For deaths at UCH and NHNN inform the St Pancras Coroner’s Office.
 
Hospital autopsies

For non-reportable/ non-coroner deaths, it is the policy at UCLH routinely to ask permission for an autopsy. This is the responsibility of medical staff. It is essential that a consent form be completed before an autopsy takes place.

Hours of work: 08:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday. An on-call service is available for advice and urgent release of bodies for religious reasons.

Post mortem examination is carried out at the request of hospital clinicians or the Westminster/St Pancras Coroners. We do not treat patients, but provide a histopathological report on the cause of death and other incidental findings where appropriate.

Service performance

For perinatal autopsies, we aim to provide a report within 14 days. For Coroner's autopsies a cause of death is telephoned to the Coroner on the same day as the autopsy is performed.
For technical reasons, neuropathological autopsy reports take much longer - approximately six to eight weeks.

 Contact details

Cellular Pathology - Mortuary services
University College Hospital
Basement (P-1)
Podium
235 Euston Road
London, NW1 2BU

Patient enquiries
Telephone: 020 3447 3568

GP enquiries
Telephone: 020 3447 3568
Fax: 020 7387 9386
Email: barbara.peters@uclh.nhs.uk

Service manager - Barbara Peters
Email: barbara.peters@uclh.nhs.uk