Popular Welsh GP becomes 13th to die after contracting COVID-19

Welsh GP Dr David Wood MBE - described as an 'outstanding servant to his patients and the NHS' - has been confirmed as the thirteenth GP to die from COVID-19.

Dr David Wood
Dr David Wood

Dr Wood, who practised in North Wales, died on 13 July at Glan Clwyd Hospital after contracting coronavirus in hospital, according to local newspaper The Daily Post.

The 74-year-old doctor was diagnosed with cancer last December but continued to work at West Shore Surgery in Llandudno until the start of lockdown in March.

Dr Wood's death has been described as ‘a big loss to his family, patients, friends and the wider community’ in a funeral notice posted online.

GP trainer

The Welsh GP was awarded an MBE in 2013 for services to education and training in general practice and to the community. The Daily Post report said Dr Wood worked as a GP in Conwy town for many years and previously spent two decades practising in Bangor.

He was also an associate dean at Cardiff University and served as iMAP lead for the RCGP North Wales faculty.

Chris Stockport, executive director of primary and community care at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: ‘We’re very sad to hear of Dr Wood's death, and offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

‘Dr Wood was an outstanding servant to his patients and the health service throughout his time in general practice, and made a significant contribution to medical education in North Wales over many years. He will be greatly missed by the NHS community in North Wales.’

GP COVID deaths

Former colleague Dr Becci Smith wrote on Dr Wood’s funeral notice page: ‘Will miss our random conversations during appraisals. You were a true gentleman and taught many of us so much. Thinking of your family at this difficult time and sending my love to them.’

A total of 12 GPs and one GP trainee have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. All but two GPs who died have been from black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups, and all but one have been male.

All deaths of frontline health and social care staff infected with the virus in England and Wales will be reviewed by medical examiners as part of a review, according to the Independent.

An initial Public Health England (PHE) review in June found that death rates from the virus were highest among people from BAME groups, while a second PHE report later in the same month found that safeguards to protect health staff ‘were not applied equally across ethnic groups’.

PHE made seven recommendations aimed at protecting frontline staff, including mandatory collection of ethnicity data at death certification.

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