Duchess of Cornwall thanks hospice staff for ‘going above and beyond’ through pandemic

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The Duchess said she was ‘immensely proud’ of all the staff at the Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, south London. Her visit was aimed at raising millions of pounds for the hospice

The Duchess of Cornwall visits the Royal Trinity Hospice in London
The Duchess of Cornwall visits the Royal Trinity Hospice in London

The Duchess of Cornwall has thanked dedicated staff at a hospice for going “constantly above and beyond” throughout the pandemic during a visit to launch the centre’s Christmas appeal,

Camilla praised the efforts of staff and patients at the Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, south London, adding that she was “immensely proud” of them.

Her visit was aimed at raising millions of pounds for the hospice, which has been impacted by the closure of charity shops and the cancellation of fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Duchess, who has been a patron of the hospice since 2015, met with a group of nurses before joining them to switch on their Christmas lights.

She told hospice staff: “You are all marvellous. We owe you such gratitude for constantly going above and beyond.

“It is a very special place here and you are all wonderful.”

The Duchess of Cornwall with Chairman Adrian Williams as she visits the Royal Trinity Hospice
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During her visit, the Duchess also met with Rahul Moodgal who told her how nurses had cared for his father Onkar in his final weeks as he succumbed to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease in 2018.

Mr Moodgal, a father of two, said his dad at first “was dead against” going to the hospice as he “thought it was like a prison”.

The Duchess of Cornwall meets members of the Patel family
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He said: “He was such a character and was dead against coming here. But after a few days, he quickly realised how utterly amazing the staff were and he loved it in the end.

“I would come in to see him and he would say he was having a great time chatting up the nurses. They were all so great with him and it made the world of difference to us as a family.”

The Duchess of Cornwall was at the event to celebrate the hospice’s 130th anniversary
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The Duchess replied: “Well it’s wonderful to know he was so well looked after.”

She also paid a private visit to the inpatient unit of the centre where she was able to speak with nurses, doctors and some visiting families privately.

The Duchess of Cornwall meets pupils from St Mary’s RC Primary school
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She then attended a carol singing by children from St Mary’s RC Primary School, Clapham before turning on the Christmas tree lights and saying: “I wish you all a merry Christmas.”

The event traditionally marks the start of the Christmas appeal by Royal Trinity Hospice, which was founded as the National Free Home for the Dying in 1891 following an appeal for funds in The Times.

The Duchess attended the hospice to switch on the Christmas lights
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Camilla has been patron of the hospice since 2015
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The hospice became known as Royal Trinity Hospice in 2015 in recognition of the long patronage of the Royal Family and was previously under the patronage of The Queen Mother.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the centre must make up more than £9m every year to supplement NHS funding.

The event traditionally marks the start of the Christmas appeal by Royal Trinity Hospice
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Dr Samantha Lund, the centre’s medical director, said: “The Duchess’s recognition of all the staff’s hard work is really quite special considering the daily heroic efforts that we have seen to keep going throughout the pandemic.

“They are tired but no less enthusiastic and everyone here has pulled together to deliver truly exceptional care for our patients and their families.

“We have had to adapt constantly which has provided its challenges, from phone calls and video calls with loved ones, to the changing guidelines and wearing PPE throughout but I couldn’t be prouder of every single colleague.

“Our association with the Duchess of Cornwall is such a special bond and it makes all the difference to everyone for her to support us as she has throughout her patronage since 2015.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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