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'Thanks for everything': NHS's touching tribute after death of Captain Sir Tom Moore

Rebecca Speare-Cole

Watch: Sir Tom Moore dies after contracting COVID-19

The NHS has paid a touching tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who has died after testing positive for coronavirus aged 100.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Sir Tom’s daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.” “The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable,” they added. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of.”

Sir Tom became a national hero last year during the coronavirus pandemic after he raised millions of pounds for the NHS through his charity walk.

In response to the news of his death on Tuesday, the NHS tweeted: “Thanks for everything Sir Tom,” with a blue emoji heart.

Staff across the health service were also quick to pay tribute to the man who has been described as a “hero”.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Liz Lees, chief nurse at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "It has been our immense privilege to care for Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Full report: Captain Sir Tom Moore dies aged 100 after testing positive for COVID

"We share our deepest condolences and sympathies with his family and loved ones at this incredibly sad time.

"We'd also like to say thank you, and pay tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore for the remarkable contribution he has made to the NHS."

File photo dated 16/04/2020 of the then 99-year-old war veteran Captain Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden. Captain Sir Tom Moore has died at the age of 100 after testing positive for Covid-19, his daughters Hannah and Lucy said in a statement. Issue date: Tuesday February 2, 2021.
War veteran Captain Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden. (PA)

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said Captain Sir Tom Moore gave the nation a "boost when we most needed it".

How the money has helped

The millions of pounds raised by Sir Tom have reached the length and breadth of the UK – and his legacy will be felt for years.

The Second World War veteran raised £33 million after vowing to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday in April 2020.

A significant proportion of the money that went into the £150m Urgent COVID-19 Appeal came from Sir Tom’s fundraising efforts and was a key part of the first tranche of funding.

Cyclists look at a billboard honouring Captain Tom Moore the army veteran who has raised millions for the NHS, in Piccadilly Circus, London, Saturday, April 18, 2020. A 99-year-old British veteran who started walking laps in his garden as a humble fundraising campaign for the National Health Service has generated millions of pounds and become a national rallying point during the coronavirus pandemic. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
Cyclists look at a billboard honouring Captain Tom Moore the army veteran who has raised millions for the NHS, in Piccadilly Circus, London. (PA via AP)

The organisation used the initial tranche of cash to meet urgent needs on the ground during the first wave of the pandemic and distributed further urgent funding towards the end of last year in response to the second wave.

NHS charities are also using the funds to support communities outside hospitals, and the recovery of staff and patients affected by the pandemic across the NHS.

Funds have already been allocated to providing bereavement support for families who have lost loved ones, and gone towards supporting extremely sick patients, keeping them connected with family members by funding equipment like iPads to enable virtual visiting.

Floral tributes left outside the home of 100-year-old charity fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore who has died after testing positive for Covid-19. Picture date: Tuesday February 2, 2021. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Floral tributes left outside the home of Captain Sir Tom Moore. (PA/Getty)

Some money has been used for counselling services and helplines to support the mental health of NHS staff. There has also been practical support, such as access to food, drink and rest areas to enable staff to continue with their work.

Other funds are being used to help partnerships outside hospitals, such as hospices, community healthcare and social care, so patients returning home have access to the care they need to recover.

Ellie Orton, chief executive for NHS Charities Together, said it was a privilege to be associated with Sir Tom whose fundraising made a “huge difference”.

She said: “Captain Sir Tom Moore was a complete inspiration to us all and he did more than anyone to raise vital funds to support NHS patients, staff and volunteers during this crisis, when help was most needed.

“We owe him so much and we are devastated at today’s news. Our hearts go out to his family.”

‘National inspiration’

The Queen, who knighted Sir Tom for his contribution to the NHS, also shared a private message of condolence to his family.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman: "Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Cpt Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year.

“Her thoughts, and those of the Royal Family, are with them, recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world."

Watch: War veteran praised as ‘beacon of hope’

The flag above 10 Downing Street will fly at half-mast following the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has spoken to Sir Tom's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore to offer his condolences.

In a statement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word. In the dark days of the Second World War he fought for freedom and in the face of this country's deepest post war crisis he united us all, he cheered us all up, and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit.

"It is quite astonishing that at the age of 100 he raised more than £32 million for the NHS, and so gave countless others their own chance to thank the extraordinary men and women who have protected us through the pandemic.

"He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world. Our thoughts are with his daughter Hannah and all his family."

MPs across the political spectrum have paid tribute to Sir Tom, describing him as a "real candle in the gloom" for Britons, as they momentarily stopped debating legislation to recognise his passing.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also paid tribute, tweeting: "This is incredibly sad news. Captain Tom Moore put others first at a time of national crisis and was a beacon of hope for millions. Britain has lost a hero."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: "I'm so sorry to hear that Captain Tom has passed away in hospital.

"He was a great British hero that showed the best of our country & I send my best wishes to his family at this time."

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon posted: "Such sad news. RIP Captain," and Chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeted: "A proud Yorkshire man. A dedicated Army Officer. A tireless fundraiser. And above all, an inspiration to us all. Rest in peace Captain Tom."

Read more: Captain Sir Tom Moore in his own words

Read more: Captain Sir Tom Moore on ‘special’ magazine accolade from GQ

The statement released on behalf of Captain Sir Tom Moore's family revealed Sir Tom had been receiving treatment for prostate and skin cancer for the last five years but, with the help of his medical team, had made the decision not to have invasive treatment.

The statement said doctors were consulted before Sir Tom and his family flew to Barbados on December 11. This was before Bedford was placed into Tier 3 on December 19 and later Tier 4 on December 20. He returned to the UK on January 6.

Watch: 99-Year-Old War Veteran Raises More Than £12 Million for NHS