Britain

‘The father of the emergency department’: A&E consultant dies with COVID-19

A "hugely respected" NHS emergency consultant has died in the hospital he worked at after contracting coronavirus.

Manjeet Singh Riyat was the first A&E consultant from the Sikh community in the country and died at Royal Derby hospital on Monday.

Royal Derby Hospital and University Hospitals of Derby and Burton said it is with "deep sadness" they share the news that the trust and the wider NHS "has lost a hugely respected colleague".

Gavin Boyle, chief executive of the hospital, said: "I want to pay tribute to Mr Manjeet Riyat, who has sadly passed away.

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"Mr Riyat, known to his colleagues as Manjeet, was a widely respected consultant in emergency medicine nationally.

"Manjeet was the first A&E consultant from the Sikh community in the country and was instrumental in building the Emergency Medicine Service in Derbyshire over the past two decades.

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"He was an incredibly charming person and well loved. Manjeet knew so many people here across the hospital, we will all miss him immensely."

Speaking to Sky News, the cousin of Mr Riyat said: "He was a mountain of a man. He was my brother basically, if there's one man I'm going to miss the most it's him.

"He was the most generous man you could meet – the kindest man you could meet, with a great sense of humour."

Susie Hewitt, consultant in emergency medicine at the hospital, described Mr Riyat as an "enormously valued and much loved colleague".

She said: "He was a powerful advocate for the sickest patients and was well known for his fair, no-nonsense approach. By contrast, Manjeet could be relied upon to lift the mood with his dry humour and sense of fun.

"For many, Manjeet was considered the father of the current emergency department in Derby and many more will reflect on how his inspiration has shaped their own careers."

Ms Hewitt added that Mr Riyat was "fiercely proud" of his wife and two sons.

Mr Riyat became one of four consultants in emergency medicine at the Royal Derbyshire Royal Infirmary in 2003 and was the first person from the Sikh community to be appointed as an emergency medicine consultant in the UK.

Among his many achievements, Mr Riyat had a passion for teaching and contributed to medical education throughout his career.

As Derby college tutor for emergency medicine, he oversaw the training of junior doctors from multiple specialties in the emergency department, Ms Hewitt said.

He also spent 17 years serving as an educational supervisor to dozens of regional emergency medicine trainees, taking particular pride in his work supporting trainees in difficulty for the Deanery.

In another tribute, Dr Kathy McLean OBE, chair of the University Hospitals Derby and Burton, said: "Mr Manjeet Riyat made a huge contribution to the NHS in Derbyshire and across the field of emergency medicine nationally.

"It was clear that he was an outstanding emergency medicine doctor and generations of families in this region have benefitted from the care he provided.

"Manjeet was hugely popular across the hospital and a warm and embracing figure, a person who many of our staff looked up to."

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