COVID-19: Temporary morgue at Salisbury District Hospital

COVID-19: Temporary morgue at Salisbury District Hospital

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 11:15am 2nd April 2020. (Updated at 3:20pm 2nd April 2020)

3 minute read

It's being constructed in one of the car parks and will be able to store up to 500 bodies.

Wiltshire Council is leading the project to "increase regional capacity" as authorities plan for further deaths.

The bodies of those who die having tested positive for coronavirus will be kept in the temperature-controlled mortuary for up to 28 days before they can be released to families for burial or cremation.

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust has given Spire FM this statement:

"Salisbury Hospital has been asked by the Government to provide space for the construction of a temporary mortuary facility to increase regional capacity.  The facility will be managed by Wiltshire Council as part of the response to Coronavirus but is not only for deceased patients confirmed as COVID-19 positive. By request The Trust will have access to the facility if needed."
"As always we request staff, visitors and the public are respectful of this temporary facility in the same manner as our own mortuary."

Salisbury District Hospital HEAT Project March 2019
The temporary morgue built at Salisbury District Hospital will be able to store 500 bodies.

A similar facility is being constructed at Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

Wiltshire Council also issued a statement on behalf of CEO Alistair Cunningham and Terence Herbert:

"In line with other authorities throughout the country, Wiltshire Council is working closely with partners including the Coroner, Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Police, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury District Hospital and the Army should the impact of the pandemic become more severe.

We are establishing temperature-controlled storage facilities at Great Western Hospital and Salisbury District Hospital to rest those who have lost their lives from COVID-19."

In line with government guidance, the deceased will be stored at these facilities for up to 28 days, before being taken to cemeteries and crematoriums in Wiltshire and Swindon for burial or cremation.

Deaths from natural causes or other diseases will be handled by independent funeral directors."

Wiltshire Council stress "all those who pass away will be treated with dignity and respect at all times."

Private security contractors along with support from Wiltshire Police will protect the sites.

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