WHISTON Hospital colleagues lined the route of a funeral procession to pay an emotional farewell to a colleague who died with Covid-19.

Margaret Waine, a much-loved and widely regarded healthcare assistant, died at the hospital on March 1, 2021.

She was aged 64 and a loving mother to sons Michael and Gregory and daughter Elizabeth, and grandmother to Olivia and Mason.

She had worked at the St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust for 40 years. NHS leaders sayshe "will be greatly missed by everyone, especially her colleagues on Whiston's Ward 5D, Stroke Rehabilitation Unit".

Hundreds of staff from across the trust lined the route to show their respects as the funeral cortege drove down past the main entrance at Whiston.

In a statement Ann Marr, chief executive said: “Today is undoubtedly one of the saddest days we have experienced as a Trust. I have always said that we are more than work colleagues, we are a family, and today showed just that.

"It was incredibly moving to see everyone join together at Whiston Hospital this morning to pay their respects to Margaret, her family will remain in our thoughts and prayers.”

The staff outside Whiston Hospital as the hearse drove by

The staff outside Whiston Hospital as the hearse drove by

Margaret had worked at St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust since 1981, having previously worked at St Helens Providence Hospital.

She died at Whiston Hospital and had tested positive for coronavirus.

A tribute released by the hospital said she "loved her family, her German Shepherd dog Ella and going on caravan holidays. She was gentle, softly spoken and had a heart of gold".

Margaret Waine

Margaret Waine

In a statement Margaret’s family said: “Margaret was a devoted mother and grandmother. We cannot put into words how devastated we all are.

"She was so proud to work for the NHS and had extremely high standards always caring for her patients as if they were her own family, we will miss her so much.

Margaret was a much-loved colleague

Margaret was a much-loved colleague

"We would like to thank everyone for their kind words and offers of support at this dreadful time.”

Margaret is the third St Helens and Knowsley NHS staff member to die after testing positive for coronavirus.