THERE were moving scenes outside Whiston Hospital as NHS heroes and their supporters joined in a nationwide round of applause - and remembered surgeon Sadeq Elhowsh.

Frontline staff and hospital chiefs lined up in the Whiston grounds in the week that dad-of-four Sadeq Elhowsh, an orthopaedic surgeon at Whiston, died after contracting coronavirus.

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Mr Elhowsh spent 17 years working at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

The hospital says he was "dearly loved by all of his close colleagues and well respected by his patients".

A easel with a picture of Mr Elhowsh, from St Helens, was placed next to where the crowds gathered.

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Among those stood alongside the NHS workers was St Helens comedian Johnny Vegas, a long-term supporter of the NHS trust.

The crowds clapped passionately at 8pm, the time when the nation joins together for the Clap for our Carers event, which is a salute for the carers and key workers helping the country through the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, Whiston workers had gathered in silence before bursting into applause as a hearse carrying Mr Elhowsh's body drove through the hospital's grounds.

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Today it was confirmed the the trust, which runs Whiston, St Helens and Newton hospitals, has now registered 124 coronavirus-related deaths.

A tribute released by Mr Elhowsh's family read: “Sadeq was a wonderful husband, as well as a devoted father, and he dearly loved his family.

“We cannot put into words the depth of our loss.

“He loved his work and was dedicated to supporting his patients and his colleagues. As a family we are extremely appreciative for all the kind words and messages we have received."