THE FIRST doctor in the UK to die from Covid-19 is set to be memorialised with a bench outside his Leigh practice.

Dr Habib Zaidi who worked at the Eastwood Group Practice died at Southend Hospital on March 27 last year.

The 76-year-old, who passed away within 24 hours of being taken into intensive care, was the first NHS doctor to lose their life to the deadly virus.

A memorial bench to remember the GP, who lived and worked in Belfairs for many years, is set to be installed outside his practice following a successful campaign by councillors.

Councillors Alan Dear, Lesley Slater and Jack Warren were this week successful in securing funding for the bench from Southend Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy.

Mr Salter said: “We are really pleased that Southend Council has given the green light for a memorial bench to remember Dr Zaidi.

“Dr Zaidi was a much-loved member of our community and the bench will be a permanent reminder of the selfless work he carried out.

“We will now liaise with residents and Dr Zaidi’s family to agree where the bench should go, with one option being outside his practice on Woodcutters Parade.”

Dr Habib Zaidi was a managing partner of Eastwood Group Practice with his wife Dr Talat Zaidi - all four of their children work in the medical profession.

His daughter, Dr Sarah Zaidi, was bravely back on the frontline supporting both people in care homes and the wider community in the fight against Covid-19 just weeks after his death.

Earlier this year, she joined the Duke of Cambridge and Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a service of commemoration and thanksgiving to mark the 73rd anniversary of the NHS.

“I feel proud to be part of something where literally every person in every part of the NHS health and care system, at every level, pulled together and played their part in fighting this pandemic,” she said.

“I know my dear Dad, who was dedicated to his community and the NHS for 50 years, would have done and felt the same as I do”.