I know you had enquired on behalf of MBCOL with UHL colleagues re: additional facility at general hospital – wanted to let you know that this press release went out today. I’ve copied in my colleague Alex Barker at the city comms team for info. If you have any further queries, you might be best to direct them to your usual contacts.
– Preparing for continuing impact of coronavirus – from the LRF
Organisations are working together across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to prepare for the continuing impact of coronavirus on mortuaries, crematoria, burial sites and funeral directors.
Public sector organisations – including local authorities and the NHS – have been working with colleagues from public, voluntary, faith communities and private sectors to plan and prepare for the increased need for support when someone dies. This includes ongoing conversations with funeral directors in the area.
The organisations involved are looking at a number of measures to make sure that they are ready for an increased demand – such as working with crematoria and burial sites to look at extended opening hours.
Work has also begun on an additional mortuary, using a vacant building on the General Hospital site in Leicester. Part of the building will open over the Easter weekend – with the completed mortuary available in the coming weeks.
Tom Purnell, Leicestershire County Council’s Assistant Chief Executive – speaking on behalf of the Local Resilience Forum – said: “We have plans in place to make sure that we can cope, and have been working together across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to prepare – starting with the opening of some of the additional mortuary space at the General Hospital this weekend. The additional capacity will allow us to cope with increased demand so that our NHS colleagues can provide their usual dignified and respectful care for patients.
“We’re also working closely with faith communities and want to make sure we reassure people that their wishes will be respected as far as possible.
“People may be aware of how funerals have changed already – since 23 March for example, attendance at funerals has been restricted to family only, to help with social distancing. In addition, deaths are now registered by telephone.
“Across the local area, staff in our registration services, crematoria, burial, coronial and funeral services are working tirelessly to support families – and people’s patience at this time is very much appreciated.”
Bereavement support charities, such as Cruse, have added information to their website specifically around dealing with grief under these very difficult circumstances.