Sherwood NHS worker's surprise chat with HRH Prince William and the Prime Minister at NHS 73rd birthday celebrations

A specialist domestic at Sherwood Forest Hospitals celebrated the NHS’s 73rd birthday in style, with a surprise chat with HRH Prince William and the Prime Minister.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 2:54 pm

Diane Caunt was attending a special service at St Paul’s Cathedral to say thank you to NHS colleagues who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.

She was selected to attend the special event after a nomination by the Trust and received a surprise phone call this morning asking if she would like to meet some VIPs as part of the occasion.

Diane’s day job is to deep clean wards on a rotational basis. During the pandemic, her skills were recognised as being key to supporting the Trust to help keep colleagues and patients safe. She was asked to work in the Emergency Department to undertake specialist cleaning that was needed in red areas after each patient move and she didn’t hesitate to help.

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Diane Caunt, with HRH Prince William at the service at St Paul’s Cathedral

Throughout the pandemic, Diane has worked over her contracted hours to cover for colleagues and to offer additional support. Her only time off has been when she herself tested positive for Covid-19, with her husband becoming ill just a few days later.

Diane said: “The service itself was really moving and I was honoured to be a part of it. It was amazing to be asked to meet Prince William and the Prime Minister; they were both really friendly and asked me about Sherwood, how things had been at the height of the pandemic and how they are now.

"I told them that I hope we have turned a corner and I mentioned how supportive my family have been.

“It has been such a lovely experience and I was proud to represent all my friends and colleagues at Sherwood.”

Lorna Branton, director of communications at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust and one of the colleagues who nominated Diane, said: “Diane has served her local community with professionalism, friendliness and stoicism, right on the frontline.

"She has had a really difficult job throughout the pandemic and has supported patients and colleagues throughout.

“Our domestic colleagues are highly valued and respected and we are delighted that Diane could represent us at the ceremony.

"It was a lovely way to say thank you to her and her colleagues, who have kept our Trust clean and safe for our patients.”