Son blames father’s death on lack of coronavirus testing for hospital staff

The grieving son of an 81-year-old man who died after contracting coronavirus in hospital has blamed his father's death on a lack of testing and protective equipment for frontline NHS staff.

Jeff Lavington from South Wales caught the virus while recovering from a stroke in Glangwili General Hospital. He had been admitted on February 13.

Mark Lavington, his 54-year-old son from Carmarthen, said: "From talking to two members of staff on the ward, I gather that one of the members of staff had been exhibiting (coronavirus) symptoms."

He added that staff caring for him did an "amazing job", but claimed some of those treating him were protected only by disposable gloves, disposable polythene aprons, and surgical masks.

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Clap for Carers: Round two
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Clap for Carers: Round two
Members of the public clap outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public take part in a national "clap for carers" to thank National Health Service staff (NHS) as they care for patients of Covid - 19 in London, UK on April 2, 2020. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
George Orchin (12), a piper in the Campbell College Pipe Band, plays Amazing Grace outside his neighbour's Jill Scott her husband Gordon and daughter Rececca's house in East Belfast, Northern Ireland, during a second Thursday night of 'Clap for our Carers' as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the coronavirus.
Members of the public take part in a national "clap for carers" to thank National Health Service staff (NHS) as they care for patients of Covid - 19 in London, UK on April 2, 2020. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Windsor Castle is turned blue to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic when landmarks across the UK will be lit blue.
George Orchin (12), a piper in the Campbell College Pipe Band, plays Scotland the Brave outside his neighbour's house in East Belfast, Northern Ireland, during a second Thursday night of 'Clap for our Carers' as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the coronavirus.
George Orchin (12), a piper in the Campbell College Pipe Band, plays Amazing Grace outside his neighbour's Jill Scott's house in East Belfast, Northern Ireland, during a second Thursday night of 'Clap for our Carers' as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the coronavirus.
Tesco staff clap outside the supermarket in north London during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020.
A Tesco supermarket cashier wearing protective face mask and gloves claps while working at the supermarket in north London during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus on April 2, 2020. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020.
People clap from their homes in north London during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus on April 2, 2020.
A shopper claps outside a Tesco supermarket in north London during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020.
People in Southam in Warwickshire clapping to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic when landmarks across the UK will be lit blue.
Police officers join staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in a national applause during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of the public clap outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Finlay MacDonald plays the pipes at his home in Glasgow alongside sons Elliott, ten, and Fionn, eight to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
NHS workers outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
NHS workers outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public clap outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
NHS workers in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public clap outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
PORTSMOUTH, - APRIL 02: A general view over Portsmouth Harbor as the Spinnaker Tower is illuminated blue in support of the NHS and Key Workers on April 02, 2020 in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Neighbours stand on their doorsteps as they join in with the applause on April 02, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Members of the public take part in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) workers and frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, in London on April 2, 2020. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday Britain would "massively increase testing" for the COVID-19 virus as the country recorded more than 500 daily deaths for a second consecutive day. The health ministry announced a record 569 deaths from the virus in Britain in the 24 hours up to 1600 GMT on Wednesday -- the largest single-day rise yet. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
DORCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: NHS staff from Dorset County Hospital applaud at the entrance of the Emergency Department on April 02, 2020 in Dorchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the UK to take part in a nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
DORCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: NHS staff from Dorset County Hospital applaud at the entrance of the Emergency Department on April 02, 2020 in Dorchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the UK to take part in a nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 2: Residents of the Tulse Hill Estate applaud NHS staff and carers on April 2, 2020 in London, England. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON - APRIL 02: Residents in Abington Vale applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their home on April 02, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 2: Residents of the Tulse Hill Estate applaud NHS staff and carers on April 2, 2020 in London, England. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
DORCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: NHS staff from Dorset County Hospital applaud at the entrance of the Emergency Department on April 02, 2020 in Dorchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the UK to take part in a nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Residents on a Northampton street applaud and hit a tom tom for the NHS staff and other key workers on April 02, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Residents on a Northampton street applaud the NHS staff and other key workers on April 02, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
King's College at Cambridge University is bathed in blue light to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Residents on a Northampton street applaud the NHS staff and other key workers on April 02, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 02: Lois Copley-Jones, aged 5, daughter of the photographer claps on her doorstep as part of 'Clap for Carers’ in support of the NHS on April 02, 2020 in Newcastle Under Lyme, England. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: A general view of The London Stadium, home to West Ham United as it lights up to thanks the NHS on April 02, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
HOVE, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Members of the public show their support for the National Health Service as they applaud outside their home on April 02, 2020 in Hove, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - APRIL 02: A family claps for the National Health Service (NHS) outside their houses on Gwendoline Street in Splott on April 2, 2020, in Cardiff, Wales. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - APRIL 02: A man claps for the National Health Service (NHS) while holding a baby on Gwendoline Street in Splott on April 2, 2020, in Cardiff, Wales. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
HOVE, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Members of the public show their support for the National Health Service as they applaud outside their home on April 02, 2020 in Hove, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Members of the public take part in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) workers and frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, in London on April 2, 2020. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday Britain would "massively increase testing" for the COVID-19 virus as the country recorded more than 500 daily deaths for a second consecutive day. The health ministry announced a record 569 deaths from the virus in Britain in the 24 hours up to 1600 GMT on Wednesday -- the largest single-day rise yet. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
A second 'Clap for Carers' event has taken place across the UK, as people show their appreciation for healthcare workers with a round of applause at 8pm. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus and developing mild symptoms, joined in from Downing Street.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes part in the Clap for Carers initiative on the steps of Downing Street to show his appreciation for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes part in the Clap for Carers initiative on the steps of Downing Street to show his appreciation for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
In this handout photo provided by 10 Downing Street, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson claps outside 11 Downing Street to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic, in London, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Pippa Fowles/The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.(Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street via AP)
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Mr Lavington paid tribute to his "father and best friend," describing his "heartbreaking" death on Thursday as a "serious direct consequence of Tory failure" to test NHS staff.

"(Health Secretary) Matt Hancock stood up on January 23 before we had any serious cases in the UK, and assured the House and the country that we already had a test for the virus, we were ready to go, and we had the best laboratories in the world capable of tackling this disease.

"And today he's just been on television, saying the promise of having 100,000 tests a day, which he made yesterday, is going to be very difficult to reach.

"They talk a good game, but they've done nothing.

"The Government are sacrificing not only patients, but members of the health service and social care workers."

Mr Hancock has said about 1,500 frontline healthcare staff are being tested daily since centres opened in recent days, and he insisted that number is "ramping up fast".

Mr Lavington added: "I'm desperately sad, losing my father and my best friend as well, after caring for him for the past few years.

"It's just dreadful, having to die in hospital without having seen anyone for days, with one brief video call as the only family contact for two weeks. It's heartbreaking.

"And there are many thousands, tens of thousands perhaps, of people going through the same thing, because our Government won't sort out testing."

Jeff Lavington worked for oil companies across the globe and fought for improvements to healthcare in the UK, his son said.

He added the hospital staff did an "amazing job" caring for his father, and described how they helped him speak with his children and grandchildren on a video call a few days before he died.

He said: "Despite knowing that my father was Covid-19 positive, two nurses were sitting beside him, holding him upright in bed and holding the phone for him so that he could see his granddaughter and his daughter.

"They were doing that while dressed in disposable gloves, disposable polythene aprons, and surgical masks, and that's all the protective gear they had."

Hywel Dda University Health Board, which runs the hospital, has been contacted for comment.

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