Search site


A mortuary (or morgue) in a hospital or elsewhere is used for the refrigerated storage of human corpses awaiting identification, removal for autopsy or disposal by burial, cremation or otherwise. The Public Health Act 1936 gives local authorities the power to provide a mortuary for the reception of bodies and the carrying out of post-mortems.

In North Yorkshire, there are no public mortuaries and so mortuary services for Craven are provided on behalf of the County Council by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

There are four other NHS hospital trusts in North Yorkshire that provide the service:

  • Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust;
  • Scarborough & North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust;
  • South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust;
  • York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

These hospital mortuaries handle deaths that have been referred to the coroner or deaths where no death certificate can be issued. The services provided include:

  • Facilities where bodies can be taken and stored on behalf of HM Coroners for North Yorkshire;
  • A place for the viewing of the deceased by relatives (usually for identification purposes); and
  • Help for pathologists conducting autopsies

Mortuary staff will also liaise with relatives, Coroners' Officers or funeral undertakers for the collection of the deceased person, and any belongings, following release of the body by the HM Coroner.