April 1, 2020 11.05 am This story is over 48 months old

New mortuary planned to cope with coronavirus pandemic

Preparing for a “worst case scenario”

Officials behind efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in Lincolnshire have revealed plans to use a former RAF base as a potential mortuary site.

The Lincolnshire Resilience Forum, an alliance of organisations in the county, is co-ordinating the local response to the illness and its implications for residents, life and business within the county.

Jason Harwin, chairman of the strategic command, said the forum was preparing for a “worst case scenario”.

He confirmed that discussions with the military had taken place and that it had been agreed to use former RAF Woodhall Spa as a potential mortuary site, “in the event of our current capacity being exceeded”.

“We are not at that point yet in Lincolnshire, however we cannot be complacent,” he said.

“Ensuring we have access to any extra facilities and specialist services, is a critical process we must carry out.

“Our teams within the Local Resilience Forum are now working to develop these plans as a scale-able response to meet the developing need of the county.”

Further details are still to be confirmed, however, several other areas are doing similar.

Swindon’s Great Western hospital, for instance, is having an extension which will store 500 bodies. Meanwhile, at Birmingham Airport, a temporary mortuary for up to 12,000 bodies is being built.

Follow our latest coronavirus lockdown updates here

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.