Norfolk

Mortuary to open at business park

Just Regional
Apr 14, 2020 3 mins read

The former RAF Coltishall base is once again on the frontline as it is lined up to play a major role in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As Norfolk steps up preparations for the predicted peak, a temporary mortuary is due to be opened at the Scottow Enterprise Park, in Badersfield.

The Scottow Enterprise Park will be home to a new temporary mortuary.

It is expected that the short-term facility will start to be used within the next week after the government’s health and scientific experts confirmed that there would be an increase in the number of people dying before cases begin to fall.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “These are such difficult times for so many people in Norfolk and sadly we know that more people will lose loved ones in the days and weeks ahead from this dreadful virus. Setting up a temporary mortuary isn’t something that we ever wanted to have to do but it has become an essential part of our work in restricting its spread, mirroring what’s been done elsewhere in the country. Doing this will mean that we can treat those who have died with the dignity and respect they deserve in these exceptional circumstances for us all.”

He added that the pandemic had put additional pressures on mortuaries, undertakers and crematoria and it was important for the council to plan for, and to provide, additional capacity.

Mortuary facilities at Norfolk’s hospitals have also been expanded.

Dr Louise Smith, director of Public Health Norfolk, said: “We should feel confident that the efforts we are all making to stay at home, protect our NHS, and save lives are contributing to the national effort to increase our capacity to treat those most vulnerable to this virus and prevent as many deaths as possible.

“But we’ve never hidden from the sad reality that, although most of us are going to pull through this, some people will die from Coronavirus. And the hard fact is that we need to plan for an increase in deaths in the county and provide the appropriate space to make practical and dignified arrangements for this.”

The site has been chosen because it is a safe and secure location, away from public view with sufficient space for specialist portable buildings to be housed in a former aircraft hangar. The mortuary will be staffed and there will be security in place at all times when it is closed and there is no health risk to local people.

Arrangements have been made so that vehicles visiting the site will use on an entrance off Scottow Road, so they do not have to travel through the village and letters have been sent to local residents.

Nigel Dixon, county councillor for Hoveton and Stalham division, said: “This might be difficult news for those living near the Enterprise Park, but I hope they understand that these are challenging times and Scottow will be playing an essential role in making sure that those who sadly die will receive the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Anyone with questions can email Norfolk County Council at mpcg@norfolk.gov.uk contact or call 0344 800 8020.

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