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Book of Remembrance: we invite you to share memories of colleagues who died in the pandemic

We hope online tributes will be a comfort to the bereaved families of nursing staff

Every one of the faces in this collage represents a tragic loss to families, colleagues and the nursing profession.

These nursing staff – and so many more besides – died while working in health and care during the pandemic.

A time to remember and pay tribute

The death toll from this public health emergency is horrendous, as is the disproportionate impact on black, Asian and minority ethnic health and social care staff.

Inquiries into the catastrophic loss of life in the UK and in the nursing profession must come, and there will be much to learn. But now is a time to remember and pay tribute to those who have died.

Individuals who touched so many lives

Our feature on deceased nursing staff – which, sadly, we must update regularly – aims to recognise individuals' contributions to patient care, their workplace and, of course, in their families.

From the infectious smile and positivity of mental health nurse Grant Maganga to the ‘true gem’ that was cardiac research nurse Ken Lambatan; HCA Esther Akinsanya, we learn, never did anything half-heartedly. All these nursing staff touched the lives of many.

A place where memories can be recorded and cherished

This is why Nursing Standard, in partnership with the RCN, has opened an online Book of Remembrance. The free-access and easy-to-use site is being publicised across Nursing Standard and RCN networks. It will be a space – a community, even – where you can share your memories, in your own words.

As someone who lost a loved one during this challenging period, I know how heart-warming and helpful it is to hear the memories and impressions of others whose days my relative brightened.

We hope this book will help nursing staff share stories of deceased colleagues, to be cherished by the bereaved, in fitting remembrance.