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Coronavirus isolation pod outside Lincoln hospital mocked for looking like 'tent next to some bins'

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
The coronavirus isolation pod is hidden behind bins at Lincoln County Hospital. (Reach)

Locals have hit out at a coronavirus isolation pod that has been hidden behind bins at Lincoln County Hospital.

Health bosses have erected an isolation tent near the site's A&E department to help those who fear they have the potentially fatal virus.

But the pod contains nothing but a phone, a chair and instructions to call 111, according to one passer-by who ventured inside, sparking fears the NHS isn't prepared for an UK-wide outbreak of the disease.

The man said he expected to find a “mini ward” with beds, access to medicine and special equipment – but says he discovered a small building with no electricity, heating or running water and no toilet.

The pod contains nothing but a phone, a chair and instructions to call 111, according to one passer-by (Reach)

NHS England has stressed to Lincolnshire Live that the site is a failsafe to prevent those from entering the hospital with the illness and infecting others.

However, the man was left unimpressed with the pod and says the public should expect more.

Read more: What it’s like to run a town under coronavirus lockdown

“It's been over a week since the first confirmed UK case of this rapidly spreading killer airborne virus," said the man, who wished to remain anonymous.

“The UK is being told by the head of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, that our incredible NHS is well equipped to cope with a coronavirus outbreak.

“So you might expect there to be a solid provision to look after you should you be unfortunate enough to need it.

“When you think of a mobile medical treatment pod, you might picture a portable cabin similar to those used on building sites.

“Inside you would imagine there to be a mini ward with beds, access to medicine and the equipment to check your vital signs.”

Pictures of the pod obscured by bins were taken by the man at around 9pm on Wednesday (Reach)

He added: “The isolation pod is in fact a tent measuring approximately 3m x 5m and looks like something that Bear Grylls would keep in his backpack.

“The pod is located at a medical waste collection point outside the accident and emergency department.

NHS England has stressed that the site is a failsafe to prevent those from entering the hospital with the illness and infecting others (Reach)

“Once you fight your way past the medical waste bins and get into the tent hoping for comfort, you'll find it has no electricity, no heating, no running water and not even a toilet – just a single plastic chair, a couple of blankets and a telephone with instructions to call 111 again.

“The design of the pod also means that it is not accessible for wheelchairs due to needing to step over a lip in order to get in.”

Read more: Two more coronavirus cases in England

Pictures of the pod obscured by bins were taken by the man at around 9pm on Wednesday.


The pod is housed at Lincoln County Hospital (Reach)

Health chiefs said the pods were a failsafe for people who hadn’t seen advice on what to do if they think they have the virus, while also stopping them from entering the hospital and spreading the illness to others.

Read more: Fewer Britons now think coronavirus is a 'major threat' 

Once someone has self-isolated themselves in the pod, they are asked to call 111 and take the appropriate action.

Lincolnshire Live has been told by the NHS a new temporary building will be up and running at the site by the end of the week.

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