UK

‘Tireless’ professor dies from Covid aged 64

Professor Donal O’Donoghue (pictured) passed away in the critical care unit of Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport on Sunday following a two-week battle with coronavirus

A ‘tireless’ professor who was awarded an OBE for his work as the ‘big daddy of British renal medicine’ has died from Covid-19 aged 64.

Professor Donal O’Donoghue passed away in the critical care unit of Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport on Sunday following a two-week battle with coronavirus. 

The renal specialist was the registrar for the Royal College of Physicians until his death, alongside acting as inaugural president of the multi-professional British Renal Society.

Professor O’Donoghue, who had worked as a consultant renal physician at Salford Royal NHS Hospital Trust since 1992, was awarded an OBE for services to kidney patients in 2018.

Tributes have poured in for the grandfather-of-four following news of his death, with colleagues describing him as the ‘loveliest person’ who will be ‘missed terribly.’  

RCP President Professor Andrew Goddard added: ‘Words cannot express how sad this has made all of us at the RCP. Donal was the loveliest person and considered by many to be the “big daddy” of British renal medicine. 

‘He was my friend, my wingman and my confidant. I will miss him terribly.

‘All our thoughts and prayers go to Donal’s family at this time. We are also indebted to the team at Stepping Hill for all they did in their care for him.’

A spokesperson for the RCP added the late physician was ‘passionate about professionalism in medicine, innovation and quality improvement in health and care.’ 

Professor O’Donoghue also worked as president of the Renal Association and acted as chairman of trustees for the patient support charity Kidney Care UK.  

The renal specialist (right) was the registrar for the Royal College of Physicians until his death, alongside acting as inaugural president of the multi-professional British Renal Society

The renal specialist (right) was the registrar for the Royal College of Physicians until his death, alongside acting as inaugural president of the multi-professional British Renal Society

A spokesperson for the RCP added the late physician was 'passionate about professionalism in medicine, innovation and simprovement in health and care.'

A spokesperson for the RCP said the late physician was ‘passionate about professionalism in medicine, innovation and quality improvement in health and care.’ Pictured: Stepping Hill Hospital

The charity described him as a ‘highly respected figure in the kidney community,’ who was appointed as the first national clinical director for kidney care at the Department of Health in 2007.       

‘He used his experience to ensure that the voices of front-line staff, and of the patients that they serve, were heard by decision-makers in the Department of Health and elsewhere in government, and in doing so did a huge amount to improve the delivery of care to patients with kidney disease across the country,’ a spokesperson added. 

Chief executive of Kidney Care UK Sandra Currie said: ‘I worked closely with Donal on the Renal Association board, and through the Kidney Charities Together group. 

‘I know that the impact of his early death will be profound across so many areas of the kidney community.

‘Donal was a great advocate for research, particularly in the clinical setting. For several decades he has been involved in many of our key areas of work, and most recently we shared a specific interest in multiple health conditions. 

‘For several years he chaired our Fellows Day event and supported the researchers we fund in their work to improve the lives of patients.’

'Tireless' professor dies from Covid aged 64

'Tireless' professor dies from Covid aged 64

'Tireless' professor dies from Covid aged 64

Tributes have poured in for the grandfather-of-four following news of his death, with colleagues describing him as the 'loveliest person' who will be 'missed terribly'

Tributes have poured in for the grandfather-of-four following news of his death, with colleagues describing him as the ‘loveliest person’ who will be ‘missed terribly’

His son Daniel also paid tribute to his father on Twitter, writing: ‘Thank you @RCPLondon and to everyone who has posted such kind and heartfelt tributes. 

‘We are devastated but reading all this helps, to know he was loved by so many and to see my Dad trending on Twitter today is truly overwhelming.’ 

Northern Care Alliance, which oversees Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, added: ‘We’re incredibly saddened to hear that our colleague and friend Professor Donal O’Donoghue OBE passed away last night.

‘Our thoughts are with his wife, family and colleagues. He will be sorely missed by all our #NCAfamily and beyond.’

The Advancing Quality Alliance also paid tribute on social media, saying: ‘The new year brings sad news; our AQ #AKI clinical lead Prof Donal O’Donoghue has died from Covid-19. 

‘Donal’s tremendous contribution to the AQ Programme and his passion for QI were inspiring to many and he will be sorely missed. 

‘Many condolences to Donal’s family and friends.’

Professor O’Donoghue qualified in physiology and medicine in Manchester and trained in internal medicine and nephrology in the east Midlands, north-west, Paris and Edinburgh.

He chaired the Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria Senate and was medical director of Health Innovation Manchester.

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