Council looking for additional mortuary space on the Island

Additional facilities are being looked at by the Isle of Wight Council to provide extra mortuary facilities.

It comes following transformation of part of Southampton Airport.

New measures were announced last week for Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth to use an area of the airport as a temporary mortuary, should the need arise, with separate arrangements sought after for the Island.

Now, the Isle of Wight Council’s director of public health, Simon Bryant, has confirmed more space is being looked for at St Mary’s Hospital, in Newport, and other areas on the Island.

Refrigerated shipping containers have already been stationed at the Isle of Wight Crematorium, in Whippingham.

Mr Bryant said: “Local partner organisations across the wider Hampshire region and Isle of Wight, are working closely together to ensure arrangements are in place to support communities during this difficult time.

“Integral to our planning is the need to ensure the area is equipped with additional mortuary space, should we need it.

“An area within the grounds of the crematorium has been set up already and an additional facility at St Mary’s Hospital is currently being considered to provide extra capacity. Other premises are being investigated.

“While I understand people may be concerned about this development, it is important we are well prepared.

“I would like to reassure the families and friends of those who may be accommodated temporarily that their loved ones will be afforded every possible respect, and we have been liaising closely with faith leaders to ensure required customs and practices will be observed at all times.

“We can also assure residents all necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the highest standards of health and safety are maintained at all times onsite.”