DAUK in The Metro: colleagues pay emotional tribute to midwife while a nurse makes anguished plea for public to stay indoors

COLLEAGUES of a ‘very well-respected midwife’, who was one of three NHS staff to die in two days, lined a hospital corridor in a moving tribute to her.

Lynsay Coventry, 54, died on Thursday after testing positive for coronavirus and self-isolating at home.

Her family said: ‘Our hearts are broken at the loss of our loving, wonderful and caring mum, sister, daughter and granddaughter.’

On Friday, distraught colleagues at The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, were ‘united in grief’ as they bowed their heads to remember her. Midwife Rachael Marchant, who posted the picture on Facebook, said: ‘We stand apart to minimise spread but stand together in mourning the loss of our midwife!’

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, chief midwifery officer for England, said: ‘Lynsay was clearly a highly regarded midwife whose dedication to women, babies and their families will be remembered and cherished.’

Last night, a ‘long-serving staff nurse’ at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool who died on Friday was named. Liz Glanister passed away at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, the trust’s chief nurse Dianne Brown said. 

Nursing assistant John Alagos, 24, also died on Friday. He collapsed at home after his shift at Watford General Hospital. His mother Gina Gustilo said his colleagues told her they were working without appropriate personal protective equipment. 

‘They wear PPE but not totally protective of the mouth,’ she said. ‘They wear normal masks.’ She told the BBC the family were waiting to hear whether he had tested positive. 

Meanwhile, a desperate intensive care nurse has pleaded with people to stay in their homes, saying: ‘We’re on our knees here.’ Shirley Watts said the fight against coronavirus ‘feels like a losing battle’ in an emotional appeal she filmed at the end of a 12-hour shift in Basildon, Essex.

Dr Rinesh Parmar, of The Doctors’ Association UK, said some nurses were being forced to ‘hold their breath’ because they have so little confidence in their PPE. He also claimed nearly half of doctors have no eye protection.

Meanwhile, health secretary Matt Hancock has admitted there may not be enough ventilators in place when the crisis reaches its peak. He said there were between 9,000 and 10,000 available, with another 1,500 due this week. After he previously set a target of 30,000, he said he now expected a maximum of 18,000 to be needed in the next two weeks ‘because the vast majority of people are following social distancing guidelines’.