Son blames father's death on lack of coronavirus testing for hospital staff

The grieving son of an 81-year-old man who died after contracting coronavirus in hospital has blamed his father's death on a lack of testing and protective equipment for frontline NHS staff.

Jeff Lavington from Carmarthen caught the virus while recovering from a stroke in Glangwili General Hospital. He had been admitted on February 13.

Mark Lavington, his 54-year-old son from Carmarthen, said: "From talking to two members of staff on the ward, I gather that one of the members of staff had been exhibiting (coronavirus) symptoms."

He added that staff caring for him did an "amazing job", but claimed some of those treating him were protected only by disposable gloves, disposable polythene aprons, and surgical masks.

Mr Lavington paid tribute to his "father and best friend," describing his "heartbreaking" death on Thursday as a "serious direct consequence of Tory failure" to test NHS staff.

Credit: ITV News

Mr Hancock has said about 1,500 frontline healthcare staff are being tested daily since centres opened in recent days, and he insisted that number is "ramping up fast".

Mr Lavington added: "I'm desperately sad, losing my father and my best friend as well, after caring for him for the past few years.

"It's just dreadful, having to die in hospital without having seen anyone for days, with one brief video call as the only family contact for two weeks. It's heartbreaking.

"And there are many thousands, tens of thousands perhaps, of people going through the same thing, because our Government won't sort out testing."

Jeff Lavington worked for oil companies across the globe and fought for improvements to healthcare in the UK, his son said.

He added the hospital staff did an "amazing job" caring for his father, and described how they helped him speak with his children and grandchildren on a video call a few days before he died.

He said: "Despite knowing that my father was Covid-19 positive, two nurses were sitting beside him, holding him upright in bed and holding the phone for him so that he could see his granddaughter and his daughter.

"They were doing that while dressed in disposable gloves, disposable polythene aprons, and surgical masks, and that's all the protective gear they had."

Hywel Dda University Health Board, which runs the hospital, said its staff are working ''tremendously hard.''