Health and care services across the country have paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II following her death on Thursday afternoon.
Her Majesty was a patron of many health and care organisations and is being remembered as an “ardent support of the NHS” and for her “unreserved commitment to care”.
“She has demonstrated unreserved commitment to care, charity and community through her ongoing patronage”
The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral, aged 96, on yesterday afternoon following a 70-year reign.
Her son, now King Charles III said the death of his beloved mother would be “deeply felt” throughout the country and around the world.
The chief executive of NHS England, Amanda Pritchard, said she spoke on behalf of the whole health service when expressing her sadness at the death of the Queen.
“The Queen dedicated her life to public service, and it was our proudest moment when she awarded NHS staff the George Cross earlier this year, for their compassion and courage over the last 74 years but particularly during the pandemic,” she said.
Also among those paying tribute was Caroline Lamb, chief executive of NHS Scotland, who said: “I am joined by the whole of NHS Scotland in being incredibly sad to hear the news of the death of Her Majesty the Queen. A woman who tirelessly championed for our NHS.
“To meet her only a matter of weeks ago will always be such an honour, I will hold dear to my heart,” she said.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of the National Care Forum Professor, Vic Rayner, said: “We mourn with the nation in our loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who has been a model of dedicated service for over 70 years.
“As the patron of many of our member organisations she has demonstrated unreserved commitment to care, charity and community through her ongoing patronage and her previous patronage of members.”
Professor Rayner said many people across the care sector “will be thinking about her and remembering the huge part she has been in all of their lives”.
In a statement, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH) also spoke of its “great sadness” at the loss of their patron.
“The Queen had a long history with GOSH, visiting the hospital in 1952 during the hospital centenary celebrations and again in 2002 to mark its 150th birthday in the year of her Golden Jubilee,” it said.
Her Majesty became patron of the hospital in 1965 and officially opened the first purpose-built building for the Institute of Child Health the following year.
During her time as patron, the Queen also sent a letter of thanks to charitable supporters of GOSH following an appeal in 2015 which raised over £3m.
The letter said: “As one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals, Great Ormond Street offers a beacon of hope to thousands of children from across the UK and beyond every year.”
“Her Majesty was an ardent supporter of the NHS, our staff, and hundreds of charities and organisations that are a vital part of our care systems”
Meanwhile, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s chair, Charles Janczewski, also offered his “sincere condolences” to the Royal Family and thanked Her Majesty for her “exemplary public service to the NHS over the past 70 years”.
“Her Majesty was an ardent supporter of the NHS, our staff, and hundreds of charities and organisations that are a vital part of our care systems,” he said.
“In November 1971, Queen Elizabeth formally opened the University Hospital of Wales and met with staff and patients.
“Speaking at the opening, she praised not only frontline teams but the many hundreds of staff that play a vital role behind the scenes,” said Mr Janczewski.
The Queen has also been a patron of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London since 1952.
A spokesperson for the trust described how Her Majesty had spent time visiting both its hospital sites in Chelsea and Sutton “to meet staff and patients and has been a wonderful supporter of our work over the years”.
They echoed that everyone at the trust was saddened by the news of her death and expressed their “sincere condolences” to the Royal Family.
The chair of the Royal Free London Foundation Trust, Mark Lam, added: “On behalf everybody at the Royal Free London I would like to share my deepest condolences with the royal family at this extremely sad time.
“Her Majesty’s absolute commitment to serving the people of this country and the Commonwealth during her 70-year reign has been truly inspirational and she has brought the nation together like no other – a constant source of joy, humility and integrity. May she rest in peace.”
Earlier this year, Nursing Times marked the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by speaking with seven nurses who qualified at varying times during her rule.