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British RoyalsCoronavirusThe Cambridges

The Duchess of Cambridge praises nurses “going that extra mile”

Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge has thanked nurses for “going that extra mile” during the coronavirus pandemic in a video call released by Kensington Palace.

Earlier this week, Kate spoke with five of the 2,428 nurses from the University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire, part of the NHS, to hear how they have coped during the pandemic.

Kensington Palace released a short video clip of Kate’s call on Friday, writing, “Nurses up and down the country are going that extra mile, at a time when patients need it the most.

“These acts of courage, strength, and kindness matter so much right now & we owe you a huge thank you for all that you have done & continue to do throughout these difficult times.”

Kate, who is the patron of the Nursing Now campaign, which aims to raise the profiles of nurses globally, told the nurses that “You hear time and time again about the amazing things nurses up and down the country are doing, going that extra mile.”

Kate was especially touched by the story nurse Vasu Lingappa told her, where he comforted a patient in his dying moments by playing a Bon Jovi song for him at his wife’s request.

“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,” Lingappa said. “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?’”

Lingappa said that he put on a YouTube video rather than sing with his accent, and then admitted to Kate that “It’s been tough, but like I said earlier, I’m surrounded by some amazing people with lots of skills and inspirational stories.

“We are nurses (some) working in critical care for 30 years, 35 years, 40 years – so there is nothing they haven’t seen, but this is unprecedented.”

Kate said, “And it’s the things that, you know, it’s not part of the training and the things that you’re taught 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.”

When she asked how the spirits were at the hospital—where the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered—the Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer, Professor Nina Morgan, said that “Some of our nurses on our frontline wards find the shifts incredibly difficult because of the volume of people who have been admitted to our hospital who have Covid.

“When I’m walking round the ward and speaking to nurses, there are some who are absolutely visibly distressed and upset by what they’re seeing and what they’re experiencing.”

A retired nurse who came back to work, Caroline Rudd, told Kate that she felt a duty to come back when the pandemic hit, and has been working to build public confidence in the vaccine.

Rudd said that her job is to “give [the public] the positive side of that because a lot of people have come to me seeking advice.”

Kate said: ‘This is the thing, you as nurses as one of the most trusted professions in Britain, to be able to reassure the public that this is safe and the right thing to be doing is really fantastic, so well done. It’s very much needed.”

In a statement on the Hospital’s website, Professor Morgan said that, “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.”

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.