May 13, 2020
To mark International Nurses’ Day [Tuesday 12th March 2020], The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Princess Royal, The Countess of Wessex and Princess Alexandra have joined together to pay tribute to the world’s nurses, speaking with healthcare professionals working in Australia, India, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Bahamas, Cyprus, Tanzania and the UK. A video of the calls will be released to mark International Nurses’ Day at 1600hrs BST today.
Nurses and midwives make up half the global health care workforce and play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary and community care.
The Queen will mark International Nurses’ Day today by speaking to Professor Kathleen McCourt, the President of the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation and Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, of which The Queen is Patron.
The Prince of Wales has provided a message for the video thanking nurses across the world, and The Duchess of Cornwall has recorded messages of support for nurses from the Royal Naval Medical Service and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children Charity, of which she is respectively Commodore-in-Chief and Patron.
Yesterday [Monday 11th May] The Duchess of Cambridge and The Countess of Wessex spoke to nurses in seven different commonwealth countries. The calls were facilitated by Nursing Now, a global campaign to improve health by raising the status and profile of nursing of which The Duchess of Cambridge is Patron.
Their Royal Highnesses dialled into a call with nurses in Queensland, Australia who provide culturally appropriate services to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and spoke to nurses at the Aberdeen Women’s Centre in Sierra Leone and LV Prasad Eye Institute in India – both of which The Countess of Wessex has previously visited. Their Royal Highnesses also spoke with the Apollo Hospital in India, HIV and maternal health nurses in Malawi, mental health nurses in the Bahamas, Army nurses in Cyprus, and paediatric nurses from the UK’s Evelina London Children’s Hospital and Community Services, of which The Duchess of Cambridge is Patron.
Over the weekend The Princess Royal called Tanzania to speak with the Programme Manager of a medical ship that provides facilities for those with little or no access to medical care, and is supported by the Vine Trust of which Her Royal Highness is Patron. Last week The Duke of Cambridge talked to nurses at The Royal Marsden, of which he is President and Princess Alexandra spoke with the head of the Naval Nursing Service in her role as Patron of Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS).
On the calls, Members of The Royal Family spoke with nurses about the work they are doing, with many talking about the impact of Covid-19 and how they were coping with the pandemic.
Nurses and midwives are often the first and sometimes the only health professional that people see and the quality of their initial assessment, care and treatment is vital. They provide care that is sensitive to their local community – understanding its culture, strengths and vulnerabilities so can shape and deliver effective interventions to meet the needs of patients, families and communities.
On every call, The Royal Family reiterated their thanks to nurses across the Commonwealth for the incredible work they do on a daily basis.