Published: 14:48, 14 January 2021
| Updated: 14:51, 14 January 2021
A memorial to staff and patients who lost their lives to Covid-19 will be installed at a hospital.
Medway Maritime Hospital is looking to pay tribute to those who passed away during the pandemic and is currently considering ways this can be done.
During Medway NHS Foundation Trust's public board meeting today (Thursday, January 14), chief executive James Devine lead tributes to hospital staff they had lost in the last couple of months including nurse Hannah Jackson and vascular pathway coordinator Angela Holmes, who had worked at the Trust for around a decade and died in December.
He said: "It's with a very heavy heart that we pay our respects to them and thank them for their service not just to the hospital, but to the community that we serve."
Tributes were also paid to former hospital governor Stella Dick and emergency department practitioner Sarah Montgomery who both passed away from cancer, as well as clinical engineer Christopher Sheerwood who had worked for the Trust for 30 years.
The hospital in Gillingham have recorded 619 deaths from Covid since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the latest data, there is 272 Covid patients at the hospital, 20 of which are on ventilators.
Chairman of the Trust Joanne Palmer said of the plans to create a memorial: "We will be creating a lasting memorial to both colleagues and to patients that we have lost through the pandemic.
"We are considering how to create something that is both tasteful and enduring that people can use as a memorial for many years to come."
During his address to the board, Mr Devine said the hospital's modelling programs had concluded admissions would remain "consistent" going into March.
Additional capacity has been made at the hospital in Windmill Road but Mr Devine said this had been achieved by cutting non-emergency and less urgent, elective surgeries saying these may be able to return by the end of February.
He said: "That is never something any of us would want to do because we fully understand, acknowledge and emphasise that any delay in care will impact on individuals and their families."
There is currently 977 cases per 100,000 in Medway and 699 in Swale.