Minute’s silence to be held for key workers who have died from COVID-19

A minute’s silence will be held across the nation on Tuesday 28th April at 11am.

Laura Townsend
21 April 2020
RCN flag outside offices

Flags at the RCN’s headquarters will also be flown at half-mast in tribute.

A minute’s silence for the frontline health and social care workers lost to the Coronavirus has been scheduled for the 28th April by three health unions.


UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives together represent more than a million NHS and public service workers, including porters, refuse collectors and care staff. They are urging politicians, employers, people at work and those on lockdown at home to join the tribute at 11am.

The minute’s silence coincides with International Workers’ Memorial Day and will allow everyone to pay their respects and give thanks for the lives of those whose work involved caring, saving lives, keeping key services running and the rest of the country safe.

Flags at the RCN’s headquarters will also be flown at half-mast in tribute to the nursing staff who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic and to the families of those who have lost a loved one.

Royal College of Nursing general secretary and chief executive Donna Kinnair said: “We’ve become used to hearing a great roar on a Thursday night for key workers, but this respectful silence will be a poignant reminder of the risks they run to keep us safe. The silence is a simple show of respect for those who have paid the very highest price, but their loved ones must know the levels of gratitude we feel as a nation and take some comfort from that.”


Over 100 deaths.

Working alongside the family, friends, and colleagues of those health and social care workers who have died of Coronavirus has identified the number as now in triple digits.

Now surpassing 100 deaths of staff from a wide range of roles including; doctors, nurses, allied healthcare professionals, social care workers, ancillary staff and students. However, the latest Government figures suggest there have been just 27 deaths of NHS staff due to COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Royal College of Midwives chief executive and general secretary Gill Walton said: “We had expected 2020 to be a celebration of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife but, although we actively applaud their service, this is not what we had imagined. Instead, across the country, midwives and maternity support workers are seeing the impact of coronavirus not only on the women in their care, but on their colleagues as well.”

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis added: “This is the ultimate tribute to remember workers who’ve lost their lives and put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe and vital services running.


Thousands of key staff are on the frontline while the rest of us are in lockdown. That’s why we’ve issued this call for the whole country to take part and remember the sacrifices they’ve made. The best tribute we can all pay them is to stay inside to protect the NHS.”

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