Hospital heroes enjoy afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace to celebrate NHS birthday

Three members of staff at Shropshire's orthopaedic hospital enjoyed a special afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the 73rd birthday of the NHS.

Ronnie Taylor, Healthcare Support Worker; Joely Heighway, Occupational Therapist; and Hayley Gingell, Infection Prevention Control Governance Lead in Buckingham Palace Gardens
Ronnie Taylor, Healthcare Support Worker; Joely Heighway, Occupational Therapist; and Hayley Gingell, Infection Prevention Control Governance Lead in Buckingham Palace Gardens

The event on Monday was organised as a thank you to NHS staff for their incredible work when tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and it was hosted by The Duke of Cambridge in the Palace gardens.

Hayley Gingell, infection prevention control governance lead; Joely Heighway, occupational therapist; and Ronnie Taylor, healthcare support worker; were nominated to attend the event on behalf of The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, near Oswestry.

Hayley said: “It was a privilege and an honour to have been chosen to attend this special event.

"The day couldn’t have been any more special and it was brilliant to spend it with fellow RJAH colleagues, Ronnie and Joely.

“It was all very surreal.

"We were extremely well looked after and we were able to chat to Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, as well as Sir Simon Stevens, the chief executive of the NHS – both of whom were so lovely.

“I feel so grateful to have been put forward to attend, that means so much to me.

"I am very proud to work as part of team RJAH and the NHS. It’s a day I will never forget.”

Joely added: “Being chosen to represent RJAH and occupational therapy was a true honour and huge surprise – we have all worked so hard and gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic.

“I had an absolutely incredible day. It’s one of the highlights of my career.”

Ronnie said: “I had the most wonderful day at Buckingham Palace – it’s a day I will never forget.

"It’s fantastic to work for the NHS and be able to celebrate its 73rd birthday alongside my colleagues across the country.”

Mark Brandreth, chief executive at RJAH, added: “I was delighted that three of our staff members were able to represent RJAH at Buckingham Palace for the NHS’ birthday – it looks like they had a great day celebrating with colleagues across England.

“I always say we have the best staff in the NHS and those who went to the Palace are just three out of so many who have gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic to care for our patients. They should all be proud.”

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