Coronavirus: NHS doctor kicked out by landlord because of Covid-19 fears

Chiara Giordano
Google street view image of John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford: Google

A doctor was left close to tears after his landlady kicked him out of his rented room over fears he would give her coronavirus.

Joseph Alsousou had been renting a room in the woman’s home since August while working as a surgeon at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

But he was asked to pack his belongings and leave because she was worried he would bring the Covid-19 virus into her property.

Posting an image of a packed car boot on Twitter, Mr Alsousou wrote: “Evicted because of #Coronavirus, never in my medical career I have been in this situation where people turn their back to doctors who may one day treat them.

“Sad and hurt but will keep calm & carry on.”

He later added: “We need to protect and support NHS staff in this time. Not kick them out.”

Mr Alsousou, who had been staying at the property on weekdays, said he was “almost in tears” as he drove the three-hour journey back to his wife and children in Merseyside, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

The 43-year-old said he initially received an email from his landlady last weekend giving him 28 days’ notice to leave.

He said he tried to alleviate the woman’s fears by reassuring her she was at very low risk from the virus when he arrived at her home the following Monday.

But she was allegedly waiting for him when he returned to his room the following evening and asked to leave immediately.

Mr Alsousou’s colleagues stepped in to cover his shifts while he searched for a new place to rent — all while the pressure on the NHS continued to grow because of the coronavirus pandemic.

His former landlady, who asked to remain anonymous, told the LDRS her doctor had strongly recommended her not share work surfaces.

She added: “As we shared a kitchen and a bathroom it wasn’t possible for him to remain in the house without it affecting my own health.”

The surgeon has since found a new place to lodge during the week, however he has called on the government to do more to help NHS workers who face eviction or difficulties finding somewhere to live near their workplace.

A spokesperson for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust told the LDRS the NHS has a scheme to find its staff “secure accommodation” at hotels in their immediate area if they have been affected by Covid-19.

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