AN AMBULANCE worker has been suspended after a crew chose to finish on time rather than taking a man's body straight to the mortuary.

A crew from Ramsbottom ambulance station transferred the body of a man from one ambulance to another at the Bury station rather than taking him straight to Oldham Mortuary, it has been revealed.

North West Ambulance Service said it was 'shocked and appalled' and confirmed it has launched an investigation after the breach of procedure came to light.

The incident happened on Friday, December 29, 2017 and the man's family has been informed.

A source close to the ambulance service said: "The ambulance crews didn't want a late finish and transferred the body from one ambulance to another before he was taken to Oldham Mortuary."

A North West Ambulance Service spokesman, said: "The trust was extremely shocked and appalled to learn of the incident which took place at Bury Ambulance Station on 29 December and immediately launched a full and thorough investigation.

"We have spoken at length with the patient's family to offer our condolences and to assure them that we have taken this matter very seriously and that this is not the standard of care we expect from our staff.

"We expect all our staff to uphold our values in terms of respect, dignity and compassion and anyone who doesn't risks losing their position within the North West Ambulance Service.

"We can confirm that a member of staff has been suspended while the investigation is ongoing and we will continue to liaise with the family to ensure they are fully informed throughout the process."