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Colleagues pay tribute to NHS workers

Long-serving hospital staff are named as intensive care units remain stretched to breaking point by Covid-19

05 February, 2021 — By Tom Foot

Hospital worker Dax Daantos, who has died at the age of 52

TRIBUTES have been paid to three NHS workers who have died this week as Covid-19 continues to heap severe pressure on hospital staff.

The Imperial College Healthcare NHS trust, which runs St Mary’s, Hammersmith, and Charing Cross hospitals, released details of healthcare workers Dax Daantos, Pedro Barte and Lesley Moran.

Ms Moran – who worked for the trust for 33 years – went by the motto “remember the patient, it could be one of your own family members”.

Mr Daantos, an orthopaedic implant co-ordinator, had worked at Charing Cross Hospital for 17 years until his death last week from Covid-19.

Lesley Moran

The 52-year-old’s wife, a nurse who worked in the same hospital, said he was a healthy man who did not smoke or drink.

Mr Daantos is remembered for his “never-ending willingness to help” by colleagues including Dee Hart, lead nurse for theatres.

She said: “He knew orthopaedics like the back of his hand and he made everyone’s lives so much easier. We are very sad to have lost such an important and well-liked member of our team.”

Francis Zulu, who worked with Mr Daantos, said: “He had created a massive network of ortho­paedic reps who liked working with him and it meant it was easy for us to get the materials we needed. In the mornings before surgery, the corridor would be full of everyone calling his name asking him for something.”

Pedro Barte was another long-standing and “hugely valued” member of the Imperial team.

Pedro Barte

He worked for almost 20 years on the Lady Skinner rehabilitation ward, also at Charing Cross hospital.

Diane Belshaw, senior sister, said: “He was a very private person but loved to go out on ward nights out. He was always there to listen to others and offer a helping hand. He was our gentle giant.”

Imperial did not confirm that Ms Moran and Mr Barte had Covid-19 but the trust released details of their deaths along with that of Mr Daantos.

Ms Moran was a health records supervisor overseeing clinical preparation at Hammersmith Hospital.

She was remembered by colleagues as “one in a million” for her caring nature and commitment to patients.

Linda Watts, head of health records, said Ms Moran: “…had a very long service with the trust and she will be very sadly missed by everyone who knew her. We, as a team, will never forget you as you were a big part of our lives. It won’t be the same without you and never seeing your beautiful smile again – till we meet again.”

Despite a small drop-off in numbers of Covid-19 patients in hospitals, intensive care units remain stretched to breaking point.

Last week the trust’s chief executive Professor Tim Orchard had warned: “Our largest number of Covid-19 positive patients to date was on January 20 when we were caring for 492 patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 on their current admission; 113 of these patients were being cared for in intensive care.”

A statement said: “The trust has seen a huge increase in patients with Covid-19 since Christmas and our hospitals continue to be very busy.”

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