Today marks the first anniversary of Doncaster's first coronavirus death

Doncaster’s hospital chief has praised the people of the town on the first anniversary of the area’s very first coronavirus death.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 6:00 am

Richard Parker, chief executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, has been looking back on 12 months of Covid-19 in the town in a year which has seen more than 800 deaths and 3,000 people hospitalised.

It was on March 23 last year that the Trust reported its first coronavirus fatality, just a few days after the first Covid-19 patient was admitted on March 21.

In the year since, there have been 807 deaths within Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, with more than 820 in the wider community.

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Richard Parker has paid tribute on the first anniversary of Doncaster's first Covid death.

In a video message, which you can watch HERE he said: “It has been the most difficult year of my professional life.

"39 years in the health service, I’ve never known anything like this.”

Since the start of the pandemic DBTH has cared for 3,197 patients with 2,338 discharged, while nearly 22,000 people have tested positive.

At the time of writing, the Trust’s three hospitals – Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Mexborough Montagu Hospital and Bassetlaw Hospital at Worksop are treating 33 patients.

Mr Parker also used the video to pay tribute to the three NHS staff who have lost their lives to Covid – Dr Medhat Atalla, Kevin Smith and Lorraine Butterfield.

Paying tribute to staff, patients and members of the public, Mr Parker thanked the efforts of all in helping to defeat Covid-19 – and has promised that better times for Doncaster lie ahead in the spring.

It comes after plans were announced for a huge multi coloured rainbow sculpture to be built in Doncaster town centre as an official memorial to the town’s coronavirus victims.

Public and private sector organisations in the town have launched a campaign to create a permanent memorial to honour the efforts of key workers, as well as providing a lasting memorial to those who have died of COVID-19 during the pandemic.

The proposed statue, which will stand around nine feet tall and 18 feet wide will feature 5,000 coloured hearts, with messages to remember loved ones and pay tribute to key workers.

To support the campaign head to: https://www.dbth.nhs.uk/hearts-for-doncaster