Hampshire County Council signs contract for 'extra mortuaries' in case of 'mass fatality'

Hampshire County Council's contract with Kenyon International Emergency Services is part of its emergency planning responsibilities. Credit: ITV Meridian

Hampshire County Council has signed an almost ten-year contract to ensure there are extra and temporary mortuary facilities available in the event of a mass fatality.

The contract, between the council and Kenyon International Emergency Services forms part of the authority's emergency planning responsibilities.

As part of these duties, it is the legal duty of local authorities to establish strong arrangements to prepare for a range of potential "major incidents."

The £67,750 contract started in April 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to NHS statistics, almost 1,500 coronavirus patient deaths were recorded by hospital trusts in Hampshire during that year.

However, although the services contracted were based on offering temporary mortuary services in case of a mass fatalities incident to the County Council, a spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said that this particular contract was "not connected to the Covid response".

The spokesperson added: "It is in place to ensure that the wider Hampshire area is prepared and able to respond effectively if there was ever an emergency incident involving mass fatalities - that is, an immediate and unplanned large-scale loss of life.

"This is part of standard Emergency Planning processes."

Kenyon International Emergency Services offers solutions to help private and public organisations manage the consequences of an incident.

They included disaster recovery services, disaster human services, training and consultancy or crisis communication.

Kenyon's contract will end on 31 March 2030.

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