Earlier this week, The Duchess of Cambridge held another virtual engagement. Catherine called the nurses working with NHS and hailed the vital role they are playing in the Coronavirus vaccine rollout. The Duchess of Cambridge made this call as the patron of the ‘Nursing Now’ campaign. The Duchess thanked the nurses for the hard work they have been doing for almost a year.
Nursing Now is a global campaign that aims to raise the worldwide profile of nurses and enable them to take a greater role in health policy decision making. The year 2020 was supposed to be the year of Nurses and a campaign was started in 2018 to promote the work of hard-working Nurses. The campaign was going to end in 2020 but due to the pandemic, it was extended for one year.
The Duchess of Cambridge became the patron of Nursing Now in February 2018. Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Duchess Catherine remarked,
“This campaign means a lot to me personally. My great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses. They would have learned first-hand from working with the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the Red Cross about the care and compassion that sometimes only nurses can provide. I would like to congratulate and thanks all nurses everywhere on what you achieve on a daily basis. The difference you make should not go unrecognized”.
During the call to the Nurses, The Duchess of Cambridge talked to five nurses from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and heard about the professionalism and adaptability of nurses at the Trust and what role they are playing in the vaccine rollout. University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) employ 2,428 nurses and midwives, and on the 8th December 2020 May Parsons, a matron at the Trust made international headlines after delivering the first COVID-19 vaccine in the world to Margaret Keenan. Since then, a total of 447,329 vaccines have been delivered across the Midlands, with the more taking place every day.
From UHCW, “Her Royal Highness hailed the vital role that nurses are playing in the vaccine roll-out and spoke with Caroline Rudd and Judith Smith, two retired nurses who first met when they began training as nurses working at UHCW in 1978 and have returned to the NHS together to help with the vaccination programme in care homes. The Duchess also spoke to Professor Nina Morgan, Chief Nursing Officer and Vasu Lingappa, a Critical Care Outreach Practitioner about caring for critically ill patients and the impact that this can have on staff wellbeing.“
The Duchess of Cambridge said,
“You hear time and time again about the amazing things nurses up and down the country are doing – going that extra mile. It’s the things that are not part of the training […] but the things that come from your heart, And I think that’s what matters so much now, these acts of kindness to the patients you’re looking after, that are in your care, that family members aren’t able to be there, but you are going that extra mile and being there.”
Catherine also heard a very touching story of a senior nurse Vasu Lingappa who held the hand of a dying patient and played his favourite band, Bon Jovi, from a video after his wife could not make it to his bedside. Nurse Lingappa said, “A lot of people are dying and we normally have families surrounding them during the last hour, but we’re not able to do that. And if I can give you a little example, we had a gentleman and unfortunately, he was dying, so we spoke to his wife and she said, ‘I can’t come to see (him) but can you make sure you sing Bon Jovi and hold his hand? And I said, ‘if I sing Bon Jovi in my accent. It won’t be appropriate’. So I took my phone out and played a YouTube video of Bon Jovi and I held his hand’.
Talking about the Nursing Now Campaign, The Duchess of Cambridge said, “Well 2020 was supposed to be the year to celebrate nurses and midwives across the country, who would have thought we would have a pandemic like this, so a huge well done. It cannot be underestimated the work that you are doing and a huge huge thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do in probably one of the most challenging times that has ever faced the NHS.“
Professor Nina Morgan, Chief Nursing Officer at UHCW NHS Trust, said: “We were incredibly proud that members of our hard-working Nursing team had the opportunity to share their experiences with the Duchess of Cambridge. It was such a special way to acknowledge how hard everyone has been working.
“The Duchess was genuinely interested in learning more about the challenges our staff were facing professionally and the impact on their home lives, as well as the way everyone has pulled together during these challenging times. We are all very grateful to the Duchess for her support and for taking the time to listen to our stories. It has been a fantastic boost for morale.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been the championing the NHS since the beginning of the pandemic. They visited the London Air Ambulance just before the first worldwide lockdown. Since then, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have supported the NHS and other frontline workers in various ways. From family participation of clap for the carers to meeting NHS staff in person and virtually, Prince William and Duchess Catherine had heard about the remarkable work frontline workers have been doing throughout the pandemic and on various occasions thanked the brave workers.
The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge set up a charitable branch ‘Our Frontline’ to support the brave community. In July 2020, The Royal Foundation Grants £1.8 Million to Support Front line Workers & Mental Health.
In December 2020, The royal couple went on a whirlwind nationwide tour to cheer up the country and thank frontline workers, communities and organization that have been working hard during the challenging period.
Calling the nurses from The Queen’s Norfolk residence Sandringham, that is next door to Cambridge family’s country home Anmer Hall, The Duchess of Cambridge was looking professional and elegant. The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing a black blazer with a white shirt.
Catherine paired the outfit with her Simone Rocha Faux-pearl curb-chain earrings and what looked like her Tiffany & Co Sapphire Oval Cabochon Necklace that she wore at the engagement announcement in November 2010.
Update: The necklace is not her Tiffany & Co Sapphire Oval Cabochon Necklace it is a new pendant that still remains unidentified.