A pioneering British Sikh medical consultant is the latest to succumb to the novel coronavirus.
Emergency medicine consultant Dr Manjeet Singh Riyat died yesterday (20 April) at Royal Derby Hospital, the hospital where he works.
Hospital CEO Gavin Boyle said 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. He was an incredibly charming person and well loved. Manjeet knew so many people here across the hospital, we will all miss him immensely,” he said in a statement.
Britan has seen a huge number of medical personnel dying from the novel coronavirus that is making its rounds globally. On 7 April, Asia Samachar also reported that at least seven among members of the Afghan Sikh community in London were believed to have perished in the previous fortnight due to Covid-19.
In the same statement, Susie Hewitt, Consultant Emergency Medicine, on behalf of the Emergency Department team at Royal Derby Hospital, said: “Mr Manjeet Singh Riyat qualified from the University of Leicester in 1992 and went on to train in Emergency Medicine at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Lincoln County Hospital. During this time, and prior to the introduction of paramedics, he acted as team leader for the Accident Flying Squads at both hospitals. Manjeet was also one of the first Clinical Research Fellows in the UK and contributed to the birth of academic Emergency Medicine.
“In 2003, Manjeet became one of four Consultants in Emergency Medicine at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary and was the first person from the Sikh community to be appointed as an Emergency Medicine Consultant in the UK.
“Manjeet became Head of Service for the Emergency Department in 2006 and made particular contributions to clinical governance and patient safety. Manjeet also played a significant role as part of the Trust consultant body through his appointment as Deputy Chair and later Chair of both the Medical Advisory and Medical Staffing committees.
“Manjeet’s passion for teaching and contribution to medical education was a constant thread during his career. As Derby College Tutor for Emergency Medicine, he oversaw the training of junior doctors from multiple specialties in the Emergency Department. Manjeet also spent 17 years serving as an educational supervisor to dozens of regional Emergency Medicine trainees and took particular pride in his work supporting trainees in difficulty for the Deanery.
“Manjeet was an active Advanced Life Support, Advanced Paediatric Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support instructor and was instrumental in setting up ALS courses in Derby as Course Director.
“The Royal College of Emergency Medicine appointed Manjeet as a College Examiner in 2007. His talent and commitment to high standards resulted in him being appointed as Senior Examiner in 2014 and then Lead Examiner for the FRCEM examination in 2016.
“Despite his many achievements, Manjeet was most at home as a highly visible shop floor Emergency Medicine Consultant. He was consistently generous with his remarkable clinical knowledge to everyone in the team. He had that rare gift of maintaining constant joy in the intellectual challenge of clinical medicine combined with gentle kindness and compassion for his patients. 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.
“Manjeet was enormously valued and much loved as a colleague, supervisor and mentor as well as for his wise council and discreet support in tough times. 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.
“Finally, Manjeet was fiercely proud of his wife and two sons and often shared the achievements and exploits of the boys with equal good humour. He always kept sight of what is really important in life and set an example by living life in keeping with his high standards and strong values. He will be hugely missed.”
Dr Kathy McLean OBE, Chair said: “Mr Manjeet Riyat made a huge contribution to the NHS in Derbyshire and across the field of emergency medicine nationally. I had known Manjeet from when he first joined the Trust in the early 2000s and he very quickly made an impact with his focus on patient care and high standards. 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. I met him again shortly after returning to the Trust as Chair and was greeted with a big hug. This is a terribly sad day for all of those who had the pleasure to have known him and to have worked alongside him. I want to offer our condolences to all his family and friends at this sad time.”
“Incredibly dedicated” Cardiff surgeon dies after contracting coronavirus (Asia Samachar, 8 April 2020)
London: 7 Afghan Sikhs die from coronavirus (Asia Samachar, 2 April 2020)
Father-son surgeon duo Vaisakhi at hospital (Asia Samachar, 20 April 2020)