skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (128k) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (64K) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (128K) More Music Variety!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (64K) The Best Variety of Hits!

Local News

Vulnerable Doncaster hospital worker not told to shield until days before tragic Covid death


share close

A hospital worker who was not advised to shield until days before his death was placed at an increased risk of developing Covid-19, an inquest heard.

Kevin Smith, 64, a plaster technician at Doncaster Royal Infirmary was taking immunosuppressant drugs for rheumatoid arthritis when he contracted coronavirus in 2020.

His wife Diane told an inquest at Doncaster Coroner’s Court that a letter advising her husband to shield, which arrived while he was in hospital, was “too little, too late”.

For more news from Doncaster click here

The inquest heard that father-of-two Mr Smith, who had worked at the hospital for more than 35 years, developed a cough on March 20 2020 but it did not seem to be “particularly concerning”.

Mrs Smith said the situation “changed quite drastically” on April 3 when her husband fell ill and she was advised to take him to the accident and emergency department.

Doncaster's best 'potman' Kevin Smith
Doncaster’s best ‘potman’ Kevin Smith

He was diagnosed with Covid-19 and Mrs Smith said she did not see her husband again after taking him some belongings later that night.

The inquest heard that Mr Smith was provided with oxygen therapy and antibiotics and his condition was stable for a period of time until he developed chest pains.

His condition deteriorated and he died on April 12 2020, leaving behind his wife Diane, who he was married to for 39 years, and his two children Ellie Whitley and Gareth Smith.

The cause of his death was given as a heart attack due to the Covid-19 infection, with his immunosuppression from the rheumatoid arthritis a contributory factor.

Enter your postcode for the latest Covid-19 data for your area

Mrs Smith told the inquest that her husband received a letter after he had been admitted to hospital that advised patients taking immunosuppressant drugs to shield.

She said: “That was too little, too late.”

The inquest heard that letters were posted to patients in alphabetical order by surname between March 23 and April 6.

Senior coroner Nicola Mundy recorded a conclusion that Mr Smith died from natural causes.

She added: “Kevin Smith took immunosuppressant drugs and these drugs, together with the absence of shielding, placed him at significant increased risk of developing Covid-19 infection.

“He went on to contract Covid-19, which led to his death on April 12 2020.”

She continued: “The fact he had not received any advice to shield did place him at increased risk of developing Covid-19, which ultimately led to his death.”

Ms Mundy said she could not say where Mr Smith, who sometimes travelled to work on a shuttle bus and had received visits from family members at his home before his illness, had contracted Covid-19, and she could not say that he contracted it at his workplace.

She said: “I cannot find that the Covid-19 was contracted during the course of employment.

Kevin was a much-loved member of the team at Doncaster Royal Infirmary

“I simply cannot say where it was contracted and while it is a possibility, I cannot find it was a probability.”

Remembering her dad, 31-year-old Ellie said he was an avid music lover and it was a passion that resonated with his two children.

“He was very funny and he loved his music. That is important because me and my brother are musicians and he really did adore his music just like his dad before him,” said Ellie.

“He sang and he had a beautiful voice so there were never any embarrassing moments when you listened to your parents sing.”

Paying tribute to Mr Smith after his death, Richard Parker, chief executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “Kev, as he was known to friends and colleagues, was renowned for his warm personality, diligence and compassion.”

To get the latest email updates from South Yorkshire Live, click here .

Written by: Rother Radio News

Previous post

UK News

Government set to allow more foreign butchers in to prevent mass cull of pigs

The government is expected to back down today in a row over visas for foreign butchers to prevent a mass cull of British pigs.A shortage of butchers at industrial slaughterhouses has left farmers with too many pigs on their farms, leading to warnings that 10,000 pigs a week could have to be destroyed. It is understood the government will announce a package of measures, thought to include dropping a requirement […]