A DEAD patient's body was damaged at the city's hospital after the trolley it was on tipped over, according to health chiefs.

Worcestershire Royal Hospital said the blunder was caused by 'human error' and it has apologised to the family of the patient.

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA), which oversees the treatment of bodies, revealed the 'serious incident' in a freedom of information request response.

A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the city's hospital, said: "The incident took place last year and involved a trolley transporting a deceased patient to the mortuary briefly tipping over.

"Only very minor damage was caused to the body, however any damage as a result of a human error is regrettable and something we take very seriously.

“For this reason we fully investigated the incident and ensured the guidelines around the number of porters required to transfer deceased patients to the mortuary was updated.

"The HTA has indicated it is satisfied the lessons learned from this incident have been used to improve safety during the transportation of deceased patients in our hospitals."

A spokesman for the HTA said hospitals are required to tell the regulator about serious incidents or near-misses within five days of them being discovered.

The spokesman added: "When this happens we work with the establishment to ensure that they put measures in place to decrease the likelihood of this happening again.

"The trust undertook an investigation into the matter and following this investigation the HTA was satisfied that action was taken to look into the matter and that lessons were learned. The case has now been closed."

READ MORE: Hospital stored dead bodies in 'viewing room'.

The HTA revealed the incident, which took place in August, in its response to a freedom of information request in January.

An employee at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the standard practice is for two porters to transport a deceased patient to the mortuary.

They said the porters put the body on a bed, cover them and then push them down the hospital's corridors.

The staff member added that the porters take the body down in a lift and then winch it into a van, which they drive to the mortuary.

The source believes there should be some type of tunnel from the hospital to the mortuary, to show respect for the dead patients.