Consultant Amged El-Hawrani is first frontline hospital worker to die after testing positive for coronavirus

A consultant has become the first hospital frontline worker to die after testing positive for coronavirus.

Colleagues have paid tribute to Amged El-Hawrani, who died on Saturday evening aged 55 at Leicester Royal Infirmary, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton have said.

It is understood Mr El-Hawrani had not been in contact with patients in recent weeks.

His family described him as a "loving and much-loved husband, son, father, brother, and friend".

Amged El-Hawrani with colleague Donna Garner. Credit: Donna Garner/PA

"His greatest passions were his family and his profession, and he dedicated his life to both. He was the rock of our family, incredibly strong, compassionate, caring and giving," a spokesman for Mr El-Hawrani’s family said

"He always put everyone else before himself. We all turned to him when we needed support and he was always there for us. He had so many responsibilities and yet he never complained.

“Amged reached the very top of his profession and we know he made a difference to thousands of lives during his career. He viewed his role as a doctor as one of life’s most noble pursuits.

"He was also a leader, who educated many doctors who have subsequently become ENT consultants. We are incredibly proud of the legacy he has left behind and all that he has achieved.

“We would like to thank all those involved in his care for their kindness and compassion during his illness. They worked tirelessly for their patient, as he would have done for his own.

“Losing Amged is devastating for our family. Life without him is impossible to imagine but together, we will do all we can to honour his memory and live how he would have wanted us to.”

NHS England said Mr El-Hawrani was the first confirmed hospital frontline worker to die. Credit: PA

Mr El-Hawrani’s son Ashraf said: “Most of my Dad’s time was dedicated towards his family, and the rest of that time was dedicated towards his profession.

“He taught me the significance of respect and equality. He also stressed the importance of not worrying about the things I cannot control, which he displayed to me right up until the end of his life.

“He did not seek the praise and approval of others, he was satisfied by viewing the positive effects of his actions and the wellbeing of his family.

"I am incredibly proud to say that for 18 years of my life, Amged El-Hawrani was my father.”

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Health minister Robert Jenrick said that he had heard the news shortly before the briefing that Dr Amged El-Hawrani had "very sadly passed away".

"The deaths we are reporting daily at these press conferences are very sobering. Every death is a tragedy, we don't want to see any unnecessary death," he said.

Dr Jenny Harries said as a medical professional she usually would not comment on an individual case but added she was "very saddened" that a professional colleague had passed away.

"It clearly is a worrying event, it is worrying for the nation because it is another death in our statistics, it is another loss to a family," she told the briefing.

"And it will be a loss to an NHS family as well."

She added: "It is in no-one's interests that we lose our colleagues."

Robert Jenrick said every death is a tragedy.

Gavin Boyle, chief executive at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB), said Mr El-Hawrani was an "extremely hard working consultant" and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) trainer "who was well liked at the Trust and particularly at Queen’s Hospital Burton where he worked".

“Amged played a leading role in the merger between the hospitals in Burton and Derby and helped bring the two clinical teams together," he added.

"He was keen to support colleagues outside of ENT and was well known across a wide number of departments.

“He was known for his dedication and commitment to his patients. He had also raised funds for the hospitals, including climbing in the Himalayas with a group of friends some years ago.

"The whole UHDB family are desperately saddened at losing Amged who was such a valued and much loved colleague.

“On behalf of everyone here at UHDB, including our patients and the communities we serve, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family.

“We would also like to thank our colleagues at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust for their professionalism and the compassionate care they have shown for Amged and his family.”

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty sent his condolences to the family. Credit: PA

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said Mr El-Hawrani's death "will be felt by the whole medical profession" and sent his condolences to his family.

“COVID-19 is a risk to everyone, but clinical NHS staff are at the front line in battling this disease," he added.

"Everyone is rightly inspired by the skill and dedication of our NHS staff like Mr El-Hawrani.

“The action that everyone in the UK can do to reduce the risk to the NHS is to continue to follow government advice on staying at home and social distancing.

"This is the practical support the NHS and its staff need from us all at the moment.”

A former colleague of Mr El-Hawrani told ITV News: "He was so dedicated to his work and family and was such a lovely, kind, caring man - it’s such a tragic loss he’s left us. He’ll be missed by a great deal of people and my deepest sympathies go to his family."