Kate Middleton and Prince William make surprise visit to NHS workers battling coronavirus crisis
Kate Middleton and Prince William have made a private visit to NHS workers battling on the frontline of the devastating coronavirus pandemic.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited a call centre in London on Thursday to visit staff, before meeting with paramedics.
The royal couple listened as they heard the problems facing the country in the midst of the pandemic and how calls to 111 had quadrupled in recent days.
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Visiting the Croydon centre, the couple used antibacterial gel upon their arrival, before standing at a distance with the workers.
Handshakes were also strictly off limits.
“We are all learning new ways of behaving socially as a result of this, and indeed new ways of working,” Garrett Emmerson, the chief executive of the London Ambulance Service, explained to the couple during the visit.
“We were talking with the duke about potential future visits if we are in further stages of social distancing – we may be doing remote conferencing for events like this. That's certainly a possibility in the coming weeks and months.”
The couple sat down for a conversation with paramedics, who told them they had been “incredibly busy”
According to MailOnline, paramedic Euan Flood said: “We are getting calls one after the other. Currently we have a few hundred calls waiting to be called back, anything from a day to two, three days old. We are finding that people are quite understanding when we call them back.
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"They are quite accepting that they know it's busy, they know it's going to be a long time. We try and get through them as quickly as we can, but safely as well.”
William then responded: “I imagine that you are concerned that a lot of [the public] don't have internet access, therefore [having] 111 to call is really important.”
Earlier this week the Duke of Cambridge had praised the work of the NHS, saying: “Not only are NHS staff and emergency workers responding to the needs of the public, they – like the rest of us – are concerned about their families, friends and loved ones. They need our support as much as we need theirs.
“That is why Catherine and I were proud to visit staff working at NHS 111, to pass on our personal thanks, along with those of my grandmother and father, to staff working around the clock to provide care and advice to those that need it most. It was also brilliant to see the great online tools for those with mild symptoms or worries.”
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