Kate praises nurses for sacrifices made during the ‘hardest of years’

The Duchess of Cambridge has hailed the “huge sacrifices” made by nurses during the pandemic as she marked the end of a global three-year campaign to raise the profile of nursing.

Kate, in a video message for Nursing Now, said the community had faced the hardest of years.

The duchess, who was royal patron of the initiative, said: “When Nursing Now was launched in 2018, we had no way of knowing just how much the work, dedication and infinite care of nurses would be tested, needed and appreciated.

“Covid-19 has highlighted the vital role that nurses provide which we all rely on and it’s made all the more extraordinary when we consider the huge sacrifices and personal demands that have been placed on all of you by the pandemic.

“It has been the hardest of years and my heartfelt thanks to you and your colleagues around the world for the incredible work you do every day.”

The completion of the drive to raise the profile and status of nursing is being used to make an urgent call to governments to invest in nurses as the backbone of health systems.

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Lord Nigel Crisp, Nursing Now founder, said: “Health services around the world have responded magnificently to the pandemic, but we will not beat Covid-19, stop the next pandemic or tackle skyrocketing rates of diabetes or heart disease unless we help nurses to work at their full potential.”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said Nursing Now had developed a new generation of leaders in nurses, adding: “As the campaign comes to an end, I urge countries to invest in nurses, so they are supported, protected, motivated and equipped to deliver safe care.”

Kate, who was dressed in a crisp white crossover blouse with her hair down in the video, launched Nursing Now in 2018 at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital.

Earlier this month, she interviewed Ugandan community midwife Harriet Nayiga for Nursing Times magazine.