Prince of Wales surprises staff at new hospital with video message
Staff preparing to open a major new cancer hospital were surprised with a message of appreciation from the Prince of Wales while taking a tea break.
Charles recorded the message to congratulate staff at the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool on getting the hospital ready in time for its first inpatients, despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
About 300 staff had stopped for a short break on Saturday, the hospital’s opening day, when screens around the 11-storey facility lit up with the royal message.
Charles said: “I know that today is a momentous and very special occasion for everyone at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool as you prepare to open the doors and welcome your first patients.
“On such a memorable day, I just wanted to express my huge appreciation for the extraordinary efforts you have made to open this pioneering facility, which will truly transform cancer care for generations to come.
“And, as you reflect on what you have achieved, I hope you can feel an enormous sense of pride. It can have been no easy feat in the face of a global pandemic so it really is the most immense testimony to the hard work of everyone involved.”
The centre, part of a £162 million investment in cancer services in the region, welcomed its first inpatients on Saturday and will begin day-case and outpatient treatments including chemotherapy and radiotherapy on Monday.
It will provide a range of highly-specialist cancer care including pioneering chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, diagnostics and bone marrow transplant.
Charles said: “As the NHS resumes normal activity alongside caring for those affected by Covid-19, this hospital has never been more vitally needed by the people of Cheshire and Merseyside.
“As this splendid new facility opens its doors today, I simply want to send to all those who work and all those who will be treated there, every possible good wish for the future.”
Chief executive of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust – which also has sites in Wirral and Aintree, Dr Liz Bishop said: “It meant so much to the whole team to receive such a very special message from The Prince of Wales.
“Everyone was truly honoured and touched by his warm words.
“As you can imagine, everyone has worked incredibly hard over the last few months and they were delighted to be recognised in this way by The Prince of Wales.”