A midwife and a nurse who died after contracting coronavirus have been named, and loved ones and colleagues have paid tribute to them.
Lynsay Coventry, 54, who worked at the Princess Alexandra hospital in Harlow in Essex, died on Thursday, becoming the first serving NHS midwife in England to die after contracting Covid-19 that has been publicly confirmed.
Liz Glanister, a staff nurse at Aintree University hospital in Liverpool, died on Friday.
Coventry’s family paid tribute to her as a “very well-respected midwife”, adding: “Our hearts are broken at the loss of our loving, wonderful and caring mum, sister, daughter and grandmother. We each know how much she loved and cherished us. Her love for us all was unfailing and her strength in the way she cared and supported us will fill our memories.”
Coventry’s family said she had trained as a midwife later in life to “follow her dream”. She “saw the midwifery team at the Princess Alexandra hospital as her other family”, the family statement said, noting how proud she was of her work. She had worked at the hospital for a decade.
Lance McCarthy, the chief executive of the hospital’s NHS trust, said Coventry would be remembered “for her professionalism and commitment to the women she supported”, adding: “Her loss will be felt by the maternity team and colleagues from across the organisation.”
He said Coventry had self-isolated after developing symptoms and had not been at work in the time before her death.
Gill Walton, the chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said Coventry’s death was “not only a tragedy for her family, friends and colleagues, but also for all the women and children she touched during her career”.
“It’s important to remember that the NHS frontline doesn’t only apply to those working in intensive care or direct Covid support, but to midwives and others. Today we mourn the loss of Lynsay. Help us honour her life by doing what you can to reduce the impact of this pandemic and stay at home.”
Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, the chief midwifery officer for England, said: “I was deeply moved and saddened to hear about the death of Lynsay Coventry. Lynsay was clearly a highly regarded midwife whose dedication to women, babies and their families will be remembered and cherished by her own family and her colleagues.”
She said the most fitting way to support NHS staff such as Coventry was to stay at home during the outbreak.
Glanister’s death was confirmed by the Liverpool University hospitals NHS foundation trust chief nurse, Dianne Brown.
“It is with great sadness that I can confirm that Liz Glanister, a long-serving staff nurse at Aintree University hospital, sadly passed away at the Royal Liverpool University hospital on Friday after being tested positive for Covid-19,” she said.
“All our thoughts are with Liz’s family at this time and we offer them our sincere condolences. Liz will be sadly missed by all those who knew and worked with her.”