Senior ambulance trust manager dies after contracting coronavirus

East of England Ambulance Trust leading operations manager Barry England has died after contracting

East of England Ambulance Trust leading operations manager Barry England has died after contracting coronavirus. Photo: EEAST - Credit: EEAST

An East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust senior manager has died after testing positive for coronavirus.

Barry England was a leading operations manager and has been described as a “hugely valued friend and colleague.”

Mr England, who was based in Hemel Hempstead, was admitted to hospital on April 12 and died on Sunday April 19.

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A trust spokesman said: “We offer our sincere condolences to Barry’s family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time. The trust is offering its support to Barry’s family.”

A statement issued on behalf of Mr England’s family said that their hearts were broken at this sudden loss and that he was extremely proud to have worked for the ambulance service for over 33 years.

The family wanted to thank all the NHS staff who cared for Mr England in hospital and for the support being received from his former colleagues.

Meanwhile, the government has confirmed it is looking into having a one-minute silence for NHS workers who have lost their lives on the front line of the coronavirus struggle.

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It follows a campaign by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to recognise the sacrifice health workers have made during the pandemic.

Mr Dowden told the BBC: “I think it is a very good idea. We are looking into it.

“Actually, as Culture Secretary, I have responsibility for ceremonials and things like minute-silences, and we are actively looking into that and think it is a good idea.”

Asked whether it could be an official Government-led event, he said: “Yes, I think it could be but we will make an announcement on that at an appropriate time.”

When asked about reports suggesting pubs could remain closed until Christmas, he said that was “pure speculation”.

He added: “We’re all desperate to end this lockdown.

“But we need to do it in a sensible way because the worst thing we could possibly do is to prematurely ease the restrictions and then find a second peak, and have to go right back to square one again with potentially even more draconian measures.”

Also, Mr Dowden said he was hopeful a promised package of 84-tonnes of PPE would arrive from Turkey on Monday after being delayed on Sunday.

He said there had been “challenges” in acquiring the consignment, which includes 400,000 gowns.

“We are very hopeful that later today that flight will take off and we will get those gowns,” the Cabinet minister said.

“We are working very hard to resolve this, there have been challenges at the Turkish end.

“I don’t want to start making more and more promises but I understand that that flight will take off this afternoon and they will be delivered.”

Another 25 million gowns from China had been procured and the UK would be “getting those shortly as well”, he confirmed.

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