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The Prince of Wales has commended the “inspiring” work of nurses in tackling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as part of a special video message for the Nursing Times Awards 2020.
The eldest son of the Queen said nursing staff were owed an “immense debt of gratitude and appreciation” for everything they had done during this unprecedented year.
“The coronavirus pandemic has only emphasised just how richly you deserve this recognition”
In his tribute, which came on the 30th anniversary of the Nursing Times Awards, Prince Charles also recognised nurses who had fallen ill with Covid-19 themselves and those who had died.
He said: “This year the nursing profession has risen to the enormous challenge set by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nursing staff across every setting, from hospitals to care homes, have collectively earned the gratitude of the nation.
“Nurses have been redeployed from their usual roles, while retired nurses and students have volunteered to join the front line.
“Many I know have suffered ill health themselves and some, tragically, have paid the ultimate price for their dedication.”
Prince Charles noted how the crisis had emerged in a year that had been designated by the World Health Organization to highlight and celebrate the work of nurses and midwives globally.
“The coronavirus pandemic has only emphasised just how richly you deserve this recognition and the nation owes each and every one of you an immense debt of gratitude and appreciation,” he added.
Since 2013, Prince Charles has partnered with Nursing Times on the Integrated Approaches to Care award, to recognise individuals or teams that work in partnership with others to provide care in a holistic way or to prevent ill health.
“When happier times return it will in no small part be due to your inspiring work”
The winner of the category this year was Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for its health independent sexual violence advisor service.
Prince Charles closed his video with a message of hope and encouragement.
“Now although you are unable to gather together on this occasion and I can’t be with you, frustratingly, I very much hope you are able to celebrate your great achievements in some way or other and that you will be able to meet again in 2021, under more normal circumstances,” he said.
“When happier times return it will in no small part be due to your inspiring work, so bless you for everything you do.”
See here for the full list of winners from the 2020 Nursing Times Awards.