Family heartbroken at loss of ‘passionate’ Birchington NHS worker, mum and nan Val Stimson

Loving, passionate and strong - Val Stimson

By Liz Crudgington

Tributes have been paid to an NHS worker described as going ‘above and beyond’ during the coronavirus pandemic.

Val Stimson, from Birchington, worked as a receptionist in the outpatients department at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, but had also been helping with traffic management for the covid testing team, and on the front door handing out masks and encouraging people to wash their hands.

Val died at home on Tuesday after testing positive for coronavirus the previous week. She lived alone but had been in close contact with her family and her team, who had dropped off food parcels and care packages.

The 62 year old leaves behind daughters Tina and Kelly, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She joined East Kent Hospitals in 2018 after working in banking for many years.

Her daughter Tina Bass said: “Mum was passionate about working for the NHS, and really liked the fact she could help people. She was strong-minded until the end and didn’t let on how ill she was.

“We were so proud of her. She made me as strong as she was. She was outspoken but we loved her for it, and we took it for granted that she would always be there.”

Kelly said: “She was my world, my best friend and soulmate. She was a very caring person and I love and miss her so much. She will always be in my heart and will never be forgotten.”

Val was devoted to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, although the pandemic meant she had not been able to spend as much time as she would have liked with the youngest members of the family.

Tina said: “She was not a conventional gran but she was a fantastic one and she really loved the children. She cared so much about other people; she was always worrying about her neighbour, and had a real drive to help people.

“We are heartbroken – she has left a big hole in our family that can never be filled.”

Chief executive Susan Acott said: “We are all deeply saddened to lose one of our Trust family and our heartfelt condolences go to Val’s family, friends and colleagues.

“She truly went above and beyond to support her team, the wider Trust and our patients, and was quick to volunteer when there was a task that needed doing.

“Val was a real character who will never be forgotten and she will be remembered for her dedication and absolute commitment to helping our patients and her team.”

Cathy Brett, outpatient services hub manager, said: “Val was a very valued, very loved member of the team.She was a friend to everyone and cared about all the people she came into contact with.

“She is going to leave such a gaping hole in the team and we will miss the many kindnesses she showed us all.”

Val’s funeral is yet to be arranged.


  1. Val was a lovely lady and had so many stories to tell, I loved listening to her. I can’t believe she has gone, there hasn’t been an hour gone by since I found out that I haven’t thought about her. RIP beautiful kind lady. Thoughts and prayers with her family xxx

  2. Tina….I had the great pleasure of meeting your mum when she was making her front garden look so beautiful..this was when I walked up to the village in the summer …we had lovely chats and she was inspirational to me ..because she was so sympathetic , understanding and kind…I do,send my sympathies of course but hope you will always been proud of her x

  3. Val was a very special work colleague always 1st in and covering work from previous day,always willing to help and never a bad word about anyone ,her lovely smile and great chats ,i shall really miss Val ,she was special.

  4. I had an outpatients appointment at Kent and Canterbury almost a year to the day (10th January 2020 according to my dairy), and I’m pretty sure this lady was on reception. She made me smile! Very sad indeed.

  5. Such sad news to hear about Val. I worked with Val back in her banking days. Val had so many friends and colleagues at the Woolwich. We used to have such a giggle togethe, one big family. Always smiling and so conscientious she put me to shame. RIP lovely lady..lots of love

  6. This is so heartbreaking. My mum and Val were good friends and worked together in Outpatients. It is so so sad. Thinking of her daughters and family at this tragic time. Taken far too soon. Jo x

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