NHS Tayside staff received a surprise Burns video message yesterday from the Earl and Countess of Strathearn.
The royals thanked staff for their incredible work since the start of the pandemic.
The message was played to a multi-disciplinary Covid-19 response team who work in the dedicated coronavirus Intensive Care ICU) and High Dependency Units at Ninewells Hospital.
Twelve staff, including medical and nursing staff, a radiographer, physiotherapist, domestic assistant and renal technician were treated to a traditional Burns celebration lunch.
The meal, which consisted of haggis, neeps and tatties, raspberry cranachan trifle, as well as tea, coffee and shortbread, was provided by the Tayside Health Fund and NHS Charities Together, of which the Earl and Countess are patrons.
Chief Executive Grant Archibald who welcomed everyone to the lunch said: “Our staff have now been at the frontline in our response to Covid-19 for more than 300 days and their dedication has been truly awe-inspiring.
“It means so much to all of our teams across Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross to receive this special message of appreciation today which underlines the ongoing, extraordinary efforts of Team Tayside.”
Over the past three weeks the coronavirus dedicated wards, Intensive Care and High Dependency Units have seen unprecedented numbers of patients with the virus, with the number of patients being cared for in hospital increasing nearly four times over.
Dr Susie Chapman, Intensive Care Registrar who attended the lunch said: “I was delighted to be asked to represent our incredible ICU team to receive this wonderful gesture of support from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
“I could not be more proud to be part of such a hardworking, dedicated and caring team.”
Senior staff nurse Leila Harper who works in HDU added: “I was surprised and really pleased to be part of this event and it was a welcome break from my day-to-day work.
“After a very long year it is really nice that our teams have been recognised for their hard work by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and NHS Charities Together. I thoroughly enjoyed my Burns lunch.”
Lorna Birse-Stewart, Chair of Tayside NHS Board, said: “On behalf of NHS Tayside and Tayside Health Fund I would like to thank The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for this wonderful gesture.
“It provides an opportunity for us to recognise some of the patient-facing and support staff across health and social care in Tayside who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment during these most challenging times.”
The lunch was also supported by NHS Tayside’s Catering Services, as well as Royal Warrant Holders Valvona & Crolla, and Fisher and Donaldson who donated gift boxes and biscuits.
Pupils Emily Hough and Andrew Lothian from the High School of Dundee also supported the event with Emily reciting The Selkirk Grace and Andrew playing a tune on the bagpipes.