Dr Craig Wakeham, from Dorset, has become the latest GP to die with coronavirus (Covid-19).
Dr Wakeham, who was chief clinical information officer at NHS Dorset CCG, had led the rural village GP practice Cerne Abbas Surgery for 30 years.
The 59-year-old GP died in Dorset County Hospital on Saturday 18 April, after testing positive for Covid-19.
In a statement, his colleagues Dr Jeremy Dobbs and Dr Jenny Bubb said: ‘We are very saddened to inform our patients that Dr Wakeham died at the weekend. He had been fighting the coronavirus in Dorset County Hospital for many days.
‘His industry and innovation led our practice for 30 years. He was also a leading light in both the CCG and LMC, as well as a devoted husband and father to his two boys.
‘His legacy lives on in our patients who he cared for diligently, and in the good name he built for our surgery.’
NHS Dorset CCG chair Dr Forbes Watson said: ‘We are all deeply saddened to have lost a valued and committed colleague and friend.
‘Craig was a champion for rural general practice and a pioneer for integrated nursing teams, having lived and worked as a much-loved GP in Cerne Abbas for many years.
‘Craig was passionate about working with local people to improve services for them and was well known for his frequent challenges to us all on their behalf.
‘He was highly respected and liked by everyone that knew him. He has held a number of key clinical leadership roles across Dorset over many years, most recently supporting the CCG since it formed in 2013.
‘He has also been instrumental in the advance of digital clinical information across Dorset which has been extremely useful at the present time.
‘On behalf of the CCG and his many general practice colleagues, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to Craig’s family. Our thoughts are with them, his friends and colleagues at this extremely difficult time.’
Tributes were also paid on social media, including by Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust chief executive Patricia Miller.
So very sad to hear of the passing of Dr Craig Wakeham. Craig was a fantastic GP, always professional, kind and dedicated. Dorset will be poorer without him. My thoughts are with his colleagues, friends and loved ones @DCHFT @DorsetCCG
— #hellomynameis Patricia Miller OBE (@P_MillerNHS) April 20, 2020
The other five GPs to have died with the virus are East London GP Dr Yusuf Patel, who died on Monday of this week in Whipps Cross Hospital; Dr Krishan Arora, a GP partner in Croydon; and Dr Fayaz Ayache, Dr Zishan Haider and Dr Habib Zaidi, all based in Essex.