KATE Middleton has hailed nurses after facing the 'hardest of years' – thanking them for their "huge sacrifices" during the pandemic.
The Duchess of Cambridge looked sombre as she recounted the difficult past few months which has seen the NHS pushed to its limits during the desperate battle against Covid.
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But the mum-of-three praised nurses for helping the UK to get through the pandemic, saying they had been "tested, needed and appreciated".
In an emotional video posted online, Kate 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.
More than 128 thousand people have been claimed by the deadly bug in the UK, with the virus ripping across the country.
And Kate said she had been heartened to see the mammoth effort to treat patients fighting the bug.
It's not the first time the duchess has leant her voice supporting the battle against Covid.
The duchess recently released the Hold Still photo book, a collection of photographs from the past year highlighting peoples experiences with Covid.
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, as seen back in 2017 during her visit to Warsaw, 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 to raise the profile once again.
The end of the campaign is being used to make an urgent plea to governments to invest more in nurses as the foundation of health systems.
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