Coronavirus: Tributes to UK's first Sikh A&E consultant

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Mr Manjeet Singh Riyat, Emergency Medicine Consultant at University Hospitals of Derby and BurtonImage source, UHDB
Image caption,
Manjeet Singh Riyat has been described as an inspiration to many junior doctors

Colleagues have said they are "broken-hearted" after the UK's first Sikh A&E consultant died after contracting Covid-19.

Manjeet Singh Riyat, 52, died on Monday at the Royal Derby Hospital where he worked.

Staff at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB) Trust said he was "the father" of their current emergency department.

Dr Magnus Harrison, executive medical director, said he was inspirational.

"Manjeet was the first A&E consultant from a Sikh community, so he provided a lot of inspiration there... but he was just an all-round wonderful man.

"I was in the emergency department last night with Manjeet's colleagues and understandably people are terribly upset. They've lost a hugely valued colleague and friend," Dr Harrison said.

The trust's chief executive Gavin Boyle said the emergency department was a "close-knit team" who are supporting each other to cope with the death of a much-loved colleague.

"He's a really significant figure for us and we're broken-hearted and incredibly sad that Manjeet has passed away," Mr Boyle added.

He said Mr Riyat came to Derby in 2003 and had played a huge role in the development of emergency medicine.

Jagdeesh Singh Dhaliwal, a GP in Melbourne, Australia, who trained with Mr Riyat as a doctor in medical school in Leicester, told the BBC Asian Network that his friend was influential in training young doctors.

"It's such a sad loss obviously for us his friends and family but for patients and the community because it's this doctor who has a wealth of knowledge and experience," he said.

"It leaves a big black hole in terms of skills."

Dr Kathy McLean, chair of the UHDB Trust, said Mr Riyat made a huge contribution to the NHS in Derbyshire and "across the field of emergency medicine nationally".

This is the second death in the trust. Dr Amged El-Hawrani, an ear, nose and throat consultant at Queen's Hospital Burton, died last month.

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