A DOCTOR who was kicked out of his rented room by a landlady worried about coronavirus has thanked ‘the Great British public’ for their messages of support and offers of accommodation.
Joseph Alsousou, an orthopaedic surgeon for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was asked to leave his rented room in Headington two weeks ago.
His live-in landlady told him she was worried that he might give her the coronavirus.
After leaving, the 43-year-old found a new room to rent, but he has also been inundated with offers of help and support from people and organisations across Oxford and beyond willing to help him after his story drew media attention across the UK.
Dr Alsousou said: “The public response has been overwhelming.
“I would just like to say I am very grateful for the Great British public for their support and standing behind the NHS, and personally for offering places to me to stay in their homes and spare rooms.
“They can see how important our work is at the moment.”
Offers of places to stay came from concerned Oxford citizens who read about Dr Alsousou’s situation in the Oxford Mail.
The flurry of offers included an Oxford professor, Michael Rosen, offering a room in his home, and a member of the public suggesting that Dr Alsousou take up the offer of a room in Wallingford advertised on Facebook marketplace.
One of the homes on offer to NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sinead Webster, a reservations manager at Keble College, also contacted the surgeon directly via Twitter to offer him a place to stay in college accommodation.
Dr Alsousou added: “I have had so many messages to my emails, LinkedIn page, even to my phone, offering a place to stay.
“It might be a spare room or a second home or an empty property or even in someone’s own home.
“So many people have been touched by the story and are happy to help.”
Joseph Alsousou is now working at the Horton General Hospital
The Royal College of Surgeons and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust also got in touch to offer support, and have started offering guidance to NHS staff to help them find places to stay during the coronavirus outbreak.
Dr Alsousou has also set up a webpage to help any NHS staff who are having problems with their accommodation during the pandemic.
The webpage called rooms4nhs.com has a form which people and organisations can fill in to either offer a place to stay or put in a request for accommodation.
They can then find help based on their location in the UK.
Mr Alsousou’s former landlady gave him notice to move out on Sunday, April 15.
She gave him 28 days’ notice and said she was asking him to leave as she had a ‘serious health anxiety’ and was worried he would bring home the coronavirus.
The following Tuesday, she changed her mind and asked him to leave as soon as a he possibly could.
He left on the Wednesday night and drove three hours back to his family home in the Wirral where he began searching for new accommodation.
Colleagues had to help cover his shifts while he had nowhere to stay in Oxford.
Mr Alsousou was originally hoping to move into a new room in Horspath following his ordeal, but has since not been able to take up this offer.
Instead he has moved into temporary accommodation at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury to help the orthopaedic team there with increased demand.