A “warm and caring” healthcare assistant who died shortly after her husband, and a counsellor, described as “full of sparkle”, are among the latest healthcare workers confirmed to have died after contracting coronavirus.
Dominic Raab, who was standing in for the Prime Minister, told Parliament on Wednesday that 69 NHS workers had died after testing positive for Covid-19.
However, tributes from local NHS trusts and loved ones indicate that number is significantly higher.
The PA news agency has verified more than 80 deaths of frontline NHS workers since March 25.
More than a dozen other deaths have yet to be confirmed.
Among them is care assistant Sharon Bamford, who worked on the haematology/oncology ward at Singleton Hospital in Swansea.
Her death on April 21 follows that of her husband Malcolm, who also died after contracting the virus.
Their son, Christian, was also hospitalised with the virus, but has since been discharged.
Mrs Bamford had worked at the hospital for a number of years, and had been working on the haematology/oncology ward since 2005.
Jan Worthing, director of Singleton Hospital, said: “Sharon was highly thought of by all the patients who have used the services and loved by her colleagues and friends within the team.
“Sharon’s sad death will leave a massive void within the team and within the Singleton family.
“Our thoughts and condolences are obviously with their sons Craig and Chris at this devastating time, with the loss of both Sharon and Malcolm. We offer our most sincere condolences to Sharon’s family, friends and colleagues at this extremely sad time.”
An 80-year-old mental health counsellor from Leicester, described by colleagues as “a phenomenal character, full of colour and sparkle” has also died.
Ann Shepherd, who worked at the Moir Medical Centre in Long Eaton, had underlying health conditions before contracting the virus.
Paying tribute to Ms Shepherd, trust chief executive Ifti Majid said: “Ann was a wonderful colleague, held in very high esteem by all she worked with. She was truly devoted to her work and her patients and was inspirational in her field.
“Ann always made time for members of her team. I understand that even after her provisional diagnosis of Covid-19, Ann would call to check if colleagues were OK and if they need any support.”
Ms Shepherd’s colleagues have also paid tribute to her, saying: “The team at Moir Medical Centre are deeply saddened by the loss of Ann.
“Ann was more than a work colleague. Her support for other members of the practice team and her contribution to life within the practice was outstanding.
“She had a huge impact on her patients, who would speak favourably of their treatment with her for years afterwards. Her enthusiasm for her work was an inspiration to all. She will be sincerely missed.”