NHS receptionist who died after contracting Covid went ‘above and beyond’

A great-grandmother who died after contracting Covid-19 has been praised for going “above and beyond” in her NHS job.

Val Stimson, a receptionist at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, had been helping with traffic management for the Covid team and handing out masks on the front door during the pandemic.

The 62-year old from Birchington died on Tuesday, just a week after testing positive for coronavirus.

Susan Acott, chief executive of the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, described Ms Stimson as “a real character who will never be forgotten” and said: “We are all deeply saddened to lose one of our trust family and our heartfelt condolences go to Val’s family, friends and colleagues.

“She truly went above and beyond to support her team, the wider trust and our patients, and was quick to volunteer when there was a task that needed doing.”

Ms Stimson, who previously worked in banking, joined East Kent Hospitals in 2018.

Daughter Tina Bass said: “Mum was passionate about working for the NHS, and really liked the fact she could help people.

“She was strong-minded until the end and didn’t let on how ill she was.

“We were so proud of her. She made me as strong as she was. She was outspoken but we loved her for it, and we took it for granted that she would always be there.”

Ms Stimson left behind two daughters – Tina and Kelly – eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Ms Bass added: “She was not a conventional gran but she was a fantastic one and she really loved the children.

“She cared so much about other people; she was always worrying about her neighbour, and had a real drive to help people.

“We are heartbroken – she has left a big hole in our family that can never be filled.”