The Duchess of Cambridge praised a dedicated nurse who went “the extra mile” by singing a Bon Jovi tune to a patient as he battled Covid alone in hospital.
The request for a song by the American rock band was made by the man’s wife after she was forced to stay away from her husband due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the Nursing Now campaign Kate this week spoke on a video call to five nurses from the Midlands and heard how their selfless actions made the difference, as they held dying patients’ hands and comforted grieving families.
After hearing how critical care nurse Vasu Lingappa did her best to belt out the bedside anthem, Kate, 39, said: “We hear time and time again about the amazing things nurses up and down the country are doing – going that extra mile.
“It’s the things that are not part of the training and the things that you’re taught, but the things that come from your heart.
“I think that’s what matters so much now: these acts of kindness to the patients you’re looking after. Family members aren’t able to be there, but you’re going that extra mile and being there.”
The Duchess this week spoke with Caroline Rudd and Judith Smith, two retired nurses who first met when they began training in 1978 and have returned to the NHS together to help with the vaccination programme in care homes.
Caroline told Kate: “I’m supposed to be retired, I left nursing three years ago after 40 years with the NHS, but when the pandemic came along I felt the need to come back and I’m currently working as part of a vaccinations team out in the community.”
Beaming Kate told her: “Well done for coming back!”
The Nursing Now campaign, of which The Duchess has been patron since 2018, aims to raise the profile of nurses globally.
Last year Kate raised the profile of the profession in Florence Nightingale’s bicentennial year which was designated by the World Health Organisation as the first ever global Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
Kate added: “Well 2020 was supposed to be the year to celebrate nurses and midwives across the country, who would have thought we would have a pandemic like this, so a huge well done.
“It cannot be underestimated the work that you are doing and a huge huge thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do in probably one of the most challenging times that has ever faced the NHS.”
Kate spoke to the nurses on video call from the Queen’s Norfolk residence Sandringham House, next door to the Cambridge’s Anmer Hall home in Norfolk.
A palace source said the monarch has allowed William and Kate to work from a spare room in her sprawling mansion – with one working while the other juggles homeschooling with their three children.
The Cambridges have stayed in Norfolk since before Christmas and will stay there throughout the lockdown.
Prince William joked last summer how he and Kate had adapted to the challenges of homeschooling during the first lockdown.
In a podcast recording he said: “I’ve found it pretty testing, not going to lie, trying to keep the children engaged in some kind of work, it’s been an interesting few months.
“I’ve learned through homeschooling that my patience is a lot shorter than I thought it was, that’s probably been the biggest eye opener for me, and that my wife has super patience.
“Basically we’re a good team tag session, I come in with the children and try and get them to do something and Catherine comes in when frankly everything has gone wrong.