KATE praised “acts of kindness” carried out by nursing heroes as they told the duchess the huge pressure they face coping with the pandemic.
The Duchess of Cambridge hailed medics for “going the extra mile” with dying hospital patients when their families cannot be at their bedside.
Vasu Lingappa, a Critical Care Outreach Practitioner, described how he was asked by a loved one – who was unable to be beside her husband’s bed due to Covid-19 – to sing a Bon Jovi to he passed away.
Kate said: “You hear time and time again the amazing things that nurses up and down the country are doing going that extra mile and it’s the things that are not part of the training and taught but things that come from your heart.
“That’s what matters so much now. These acts of kindness to patients in your care that family members aren’t able to be there but you are going the extra mile being there.”
Mr Lingappa said: “We normally have families surrounding them during their last hours but we are not able to do that.
“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.”
Kate was speaking with five NHS heroes all from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, which gave the first vaccine in December.
The duchess, patron of Nursing Now campaign, heard nurses with 40 years experience say had never experienced anything like the challenges of the pandemic.
Kate said: “It can’t be underestimated the work that you are doing. Huge, huge thank you for all that you have done and sacrifice that you are making in one of the most challenging times in the history of the NHS.”
Two of the nurses had come out of retiring following 40 years of service to help with the vaccinations.
Kate, speaking in a video call from Sandringham, added: “You as nurses are one of the most trusted professions in Britain and it’s down to the professionalism, dedication and skill so to be able to reassure the public as well that this is safe and right thing to be doing is fantastic so well done, very much needed.”
Judith Smith, a retired nurse who returned to after retiring after 40 years to help with vaccinations, told Kate: “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Nina Morgan added: “Some nurses visibly distressed and upset by what they are experiencing. They are finding it difficult. There are nice things as well. The community have been phenomenal in the gifts they have given to us that we have been able to distribute.
Kate said: “I heard lots of stories about how this is the first time three generations have really pulled together.
“Nurses coming back out of retirement to come and fight the pandemic but also the young trainees also stepping up and filling in those extra roles that are needed.
“So it is really fantastic this collaborative way everyone is working together.”
The hospital trust made global headlines when Margaret Keenan was the first in the world to be vaccinated last month.
The Nursing Now campaign, of which Kate has been patron since 2018, works to get better support, education and training for nurses around the world.
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