Prince William has hailed the NHS as “one of our country’s greatest treasures” at an awards ceremony to mark its 70th birthday.
The prince paid special tribute to the service’s staff, describing them as its “most wonderful thing” and for being “truly inspirational”.
“I would like to pay tribute to every member of NHS staff”
He attended the NHS Heroes Awards on Monday night, which was put on by ITV and the Mirror, as previously reported by Nursing Times.
The royal family and celebrities including Dame Shirley Bassey, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and Sir Tom Jones celebrated the winners of 11 awards categories including Mental Health Champions, Emergency Lifesaver and Hero Volunteer.
HRH The Duke of Cambridge said: “The National Health Service is one of our country’s greatest treasures and something we should all be immensely proud of.
“Perhaps the most wonderful thing about the NHS is its people,” he said. “The skill, care and dedication they provide every day is truly inspirational.
“I would like to pay tribute to every member of NHS staff and the wonderful volunteers who do so much to support them – we owe you all a huge thank you,” he added.
In February this year, the Duchess of Cambridge both launched and become patron of a new global campaign to raise the profile and status of nursing.
Along with UK nurses and nursing leaders from around the world, she attended an event at St Thomas’ Hospital in London to launch the Nursing Now campaign.
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Meanwhile, in March, nurses from across the country were invited to attend a special reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the nursing profession.
The Prince of Wales hosted the reception on behalf of the Queen in order to “thank those engaged in frontline nursing across the United Kingdom”.
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NHS Heroes Award winners include:
- Trauma surgeon Dr Martin Griffiths, 50, who saved the first person stabbed in the London Bridge terror attack last year
- Brain tumour victim Lewis Hine, 17, of Portsmouth, who organises dances for ill teens who, like him, missed their school prom
- Medics James Lafferty, Sherridan Best, Caroline Appleby and Vidar Magnusson, who were first on scene in 2011 when Thusha Kamaleswaran, five, was shot
- Freya Lewis, 15, of Manchester, who raised £40,000 for hospital after surviving Arena bombing
- Betty Macintyre, 70, from Oban, who has delivered babies for more than 50 years in remote parts of Scotland
- Lynn Lucas, of Newcastle, who has raised £2million for cancer research
- Paramedics Dan Farnworth and Rich Morton, of Blackpool, who created PTSD charity Our Blue Light
- Steven Tsui and Stephen Large, of Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambs, who pioneered a new heart transplant
- Sexual health worker Sara Rowbotham, 50, who helped convict nine Rochdale groomers
- Mechanic Errol McKellar, 59, of London, who, after having prostate cancer, offered discounts to men who got checks – 46 were diagnosed
- Professor Averil Mansfield, 80, who was UK’s first female professor of surgery
The full NHS Heroes Awards will be broadcast on ITV at 8:30pm on Monday 21 May.