Tributes to NHS workers who lost lives

July 14 2020

AN “inspirational” nurse and “kind-hearted, compassionate” healthcare assistant are among the NHS workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus.

Sandra Hicks and Maureen Ellington were long-serving workers for North Bristol NHS Trust, and both had worked at the former Frenchay Hospital.

Sandra, who died on May 23 after testing positive for Covid-19, was described as “the heart of a large and loving family” by her relatives, while the trust said she had “dedicated her life to caring for people” over a 35-year career.

She trained as a nurse at Frenchay School of Nursing and spent 15 years working at Frenchay Hospital before moving to NHS Direct in 2000, working in a local care home, then joining the North Bristol apprenticeship team in 2015, becoming the lead practice development teacher in the trust’s Apprenticeship Centre.

Her family said: “Her parents, sisters, nieces, nephews and great nephews were always a very important part of her life, her home with Deb often being the centre for large fun-filled family gatherings.

“She always gave generously of her love and time for each of them, her smiles and laughter will be remembered and treasured forever by them.

Sandra’s line manager, Jonathan Hall, said: “Sandra was a true inspiration to her colleagues and learners that she supported within the trust.

“There are so many people that have developed both personally and professionally because of her commitment to them as an individual.

“During her time with the team she has supported over 80 learners.She truly does leave NBT with a legacy that will impact so many people for decades to come. Sandra will be so deeply missed by everyone within the team.”

Trust chief executive Andrea Young said: “Sandra was an extremely valued member of our hospital family and will be greatly missed. She dedicated her life to caring for people and worked for the Trust for over 20 years and the wider NHS for 35

“She was a hard-working, committed individual that took true pride in the development of others. She was always on hand to provide support and guidance to the team and took great satisfaction in seeing others develop to reach their full potential.

Sandra Hicks Maureen Ellington

Medicine matron Tracey Lucas, who worked with Sandra at Frenchay Hospital, said: “She was extremely friendly and kind, and friends who remember her as a mentor expressed how well taught, safe and supported they felt by Sandra at their most vulnerable times during their careers. As colleagues, working with Sandra was always a pleasure, she was an amazing role model, always putting her patients first.

“Many people are deeply saddened to hear of her illness but eternally grateful and thankful that they were allowed the opportunity to have been able to work with and learn from her wisdom as an inspirational nurse and colleague.”

Southmead Hospital healthcare assistant Maureen Ellington died in the early hours of Easter Sunday after testing positive for Covid-19.

North Bristol NHS Trust said that Maureen, who was in her early 60s, was “well-loved by every colleague and patient she came into contact with”.

She had worked for the NHS for more than 25 years, and had worked with many different teams at both Southmead and Frenchay hospitals.

Her family said: “We are heartbroken to lose the pillar of our family at this time.

“She was simply amazing. She loved her husband, five children, six grandchildren, wider family, friends and colleagues.

“She was kind-hearted, bubbly, caring and always joyous. She would light up any room she entered.”

Maureen’s manager, Suzanne Moss, said: “To receive the sad news that an irreplaceable member of our team has
sadly passed away has had a deeply devastating impact on us all.

“Maureen was a kind-hearted, compassionate and caring person and she brought all these attributes into her ward practice, which made her a highly valued member of the team.

“Maureen put the patients and colleagues before herself and always had a smile on her face. She will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends”.

Trust chief executive Andrea Young said: “I want to personally recognise Maureen’s considerable service to the NHS and to North Bristol Trust specifically.”

“My thoughts are with Maureen’s family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time,” said Ms Young.