Prince William and wife Kate talk to their three children “every day” so they “understand all of the sacrifices” made by our NHS heroes during the battle with coronavirus.
The Duke of Cambridge revealed the family chats as he spoke to staff from Homerton University Hospital in east London via video call, to hear about the challenges of dealing with the second wave of Covid-19 in recent weeks.
William, who contracted the disease last April, said he wanted to offer his thanks on behalf of the nation for their continued efforts and discuss the impact of the pandemic on staff.
He said: “A huge thank you for all the hard work, the sleepless nights, the lack of sleep, the anxiety, the exhaustion and everything that you are doing, we are so grateful.
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“You are all in my thoughts.
“Catherine and I and all the children talk about all of you guys every day, so we’re making sure the children understand all of the sacrifices that all of you are making so thank you so, so much.”
In the past week, Homerton University Hospital has seen their highest number of admissions since the pandemic began, with more than 200 covid patients currently being cared for.
Staff throughout the NHS have been moved to new roles within the hospital to cope with the ongoing pressure on frontline workers.
During the call, William heard from Dr Carlo Prina, Consultant Physician and Clinical Lead for Acute Ambulatory Care, who told him: “This is worse than the first wave.
“I guess what is daunting to everybody is not knowing what is going to happen next.
“That sounds quite bleak and I don’t want it to sound so bleak, but the horror of the situation has been met by an incredible effort of people coming together.
“Our medical and nursing workforces have never been more stretched but never been more together as a group, it’s a wonderful thing to see.”
Chief nurse Catherine Pelley told William about the resources and support available to them, including the creation of a ‘Wobble Room’ in the hospital for staff to relax and come together to deal with the pressures of their jobs.
Ms Pelly said: “Our understanding of the impact this had had on staff wellbeing has been at the forefront.
“At times it has felt incredibly overwhelming, but at others it has felt that we have got hope and there is light coming and we know we will get out of this.
“We have tried to respond with lots of different things, like the Wobble Room, cards from the chief exec, chocolates, I make cakes, all those types of things.”
William replied: “It’s good that you and your team are keeping your spirits high and I always find that having some sort of sense of humour through everything is very important, otherwise we all go mad.
“So we’ve got to find the light relief and the light moments to be able to think about something else and to be able to smile and laugh about things, because laughing is very important through the day.
“When all gets too much we all need to have a laugh every now and again.
“Good luck, we are all thinking of you.”