THE Prince of Wales has recorded a video message to thank UK ambulance workers for their “tireless and selfless” service during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the message, His Royal Highness pays tribute to the “sheer professionalism and commitment to duty” shown by ambulance colleagues over the past year.
He says: “Every working day, you are, of course, used to dealing with life-threatening emergencies, and doing so with a dedication to the welfare of others that is in the finest traditions of our National Health Service.
“However, during this most dreadful pandemic, you have surpassed yourselves in facing a previously unimaginable level of demand, day after day, week after week, month after month. The toll on your reserves of inner strength and endurance must, in consequence, often be almost unbearable.”
The Prince says it is “truly inspiring” to hear of the willingness of ambulance colleagues to “go the extra mile – quite literally – in every emergency in order to save lives, to relieve pain and suffering” and provide “the human comfort that is so vital at such a time”.
He speaks of the “personal risks”, “endless challenges” and “huge pressures” faced by ambulance colleagues and their families, and praises the “incalculable difference” ambulance care makes to people’s lives.
His Royal Highness says: “You exemplify everything that is best about this country, so please remember that we owe you an immeasurable debt of gratitude for all you mean to us in these hardest of times.”
As well as frontline crews, The Prince acknowledges those colleagues whose work is “less visible” but “no less vital” including emergency call handlers, support staff and the “army of volunteers”.
He adds: “I can only offer what must seem like hopelessly inadequate, but nevertheless most heartfelt thanks, admiration and respect on behalf of the countless communities you serve in such a tremendously inspiring way up and down the length of this country.”
The Prince of Wales is also The Duke of Cornwall and his family home is in Gloucestershire.
Will Warrender, SWASFT Chief Executive, said: “We are honoured that The Prince of Wales has personally recognised the extraordinary team effort of our people and our colleagues. In the midst of intense and unrelenting pressure, I could not be prouder of the commitment, perseverance and resilience of our people at South Western Ambulance Service to enable us to continue to deliver excellent patient care across the region.”
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall met representatives from SWASFT and other emergency services in Exeter in July 2020.