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The Duchess of Cambridge spoke to a group of nurses on a video call on Tuesday as part of her ongoing Nurses Now campaign

By Simon Perry
January 21, 2021 06:20 PM
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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton during her call on Tuesday
| Credit: Kensington Palace

Kate Middleton is praising nurses for their "acts of kindness" as they go the "extra mile" during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Kate, 39, checked in with a group of nurses at the U.K. hospital where the world's first COVID-19 vaccine was delivered to Margaret Keenan last month.

"You hear time and time again about the amazing things nurses up and down the country are doing — going that extra mile," Kate said during the call. "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."

Kate, who is patron of the Nursing Now campaign, made the video call to the nurses who work in a variety of roles at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

kate middleton
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Kensington Palace

Kate also debuted a new look for the call. Instead of her usual bouncy blowout, she sported a sleek, straight style. And while she has been wearing printed dresses for most of her calls over the past year, she switched it up with a chic black suit jacket over a white blouse.

Kate took the call from Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham home, which is just a few miles down the road from where William, Kate and their three children are isolating amid lockdown. William and Kate are using the monarch's Norfolk residence for their work while they continue homeschooling Prince George and Princess Charlotte at home. During the chat, a few family photos, including a sweet shot of her and Prince Louis at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2019, were visible in the background.

Among those she chatted with were Caroline Rudd and Judith Smith, who first met when they began training as nurses working at UHCW in 1978 and have come out of retirement to help the NHS with the vaccination program in care homes. They told Kate how proud they were to answer a call from the NHS to re-join the workforce.

She also heard from Professor Nina Morgan, Chief Nurse and Vasu Lingappa, a Critical Care Outreach Practitioner about caring for critically ill patients and the impact that this can have on staff wellbeing. 

Kate and husband Prince William have made it a central theme of their work in the past year to highlight the mental health among carers and frontline staff facing some of the worst of the pandemic.

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) employ 2,428 nurses and midwives, and on December 8, 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 more taking place every day.

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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge royal train tour
Kate Middleton and Prince William
| Credit: PA

During the call, Joe Colby, Lead Nurse for Gastroenterology, also told Princess Kate how he had originally worked in a high street bank before training to become a nurse.

Last week, William and Kate spoke with frontline workers and counsellors about the mental health impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Kate has been patron of the Nursing Now initiative, which aims to raise the profile of nurses globally, since 2018.