A RARE glimpse into one of Royal Bolton Hospital's lesser-seen services was shown to the town's First Citizen.

Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Lynda Byrne joined HM Coroner Jennifer Leeming on a tour of the mortuary services at the hospital.

Cllr Byrne, a former nurse, requested a visit to see how the service was run.

Mortuary manager Lynda Shawcross-Gent and her team acted as guides around the facilities, where Cllr Byrne met the members of staff who are responsible for looking after both patients and their families at the end of their lives.

She said: “It was our pleasure to show the mayor around our facilities.

"There can be a lack of understanding of the role we play in caring for patients after their death, and the support we offer families whilst they are grieving. The relatives are behind everything we do.

"We take great pride in being able to take care of the patients' final needs with dignity and respect before they are laid to rest."

The mortuary team have been celebrating receiving a positive report from inspectors following a Care Quality Commission inspection earlier this year, including highlighting support provided for different faiths and beliefs as well as staff being "visibly passionate" about their job.

Cllr Byrne added praise for how families were treated, including the sharing of mementoes and the welcome to the facility, remarking that it was "really thought through and properly done".

She added: “It would really put families' minds at rest knowing what you do here, it’s so respectful."

HM Coroner, Mrs Leeming, who works within the department on behalf of the Crown and who contributed to the tour said: "The people who work here are incredibly friendly and caring."