The Princess Royal Visits South Yorkshire Hospitals
Tuesday 11th February 2020
Hospitals in South Yorkshire welcomed a very special royal guest last week.
On February 5th, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of The Royal College of Midwives (RCM), paid a visit to the maternity unit at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust and later to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’ Spinal Injuries Centre.
During the visit to Rotherham, The Princess Royal spoke to midwives, maternity support workers - and new mothers - in support of the International Year of the Midwife. It follows a letter of thanks to midwives sent by The Princess Royal at the start of the year.
The visit to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals was to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Centre. As the first patron of the Spinal Injuries Association, The Princess Royal officially opened the Centre 25 years ago.
The Princess Royal was accompanied on her visit to Rotherham by June Lovett, the Associate Chief Nurse and Head of Midwifery, Angela Wood, Chief Nurse, as well as RCM Chief Executive Gill Walton and RCM President Kathryn Gutteridge.
June said. “Her Royal Highness was really interested in our services and in our maternity care and in our development in the involvement of our patients. She was very engaging and appreciative of the work that goes on here and we were all absolutely delighted to welcome her."
Later in the day, The Princess Royal visited Sheffield’s Spinal Injuries Centre to mark the 25th anniversary, in which she officially opened the Centre on 1 February, 1995. Since then, the Centre has become one of the leading Spinal Injuries Centres in the UK, caring for almost 7,000 patients a year.
During a tour of the Centre, The Princess Royal spoke with patients on the wards, joined an arts therapy session, saw how hydrotherapy is supporting patient’s rehabilitation and met staff who have worked at the Centre since it opened 25 years ago. Following a tour of the Unit, The Princess Royal unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion.
Tony Pedder, Chairman of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We were delighted to welcome The Princess Royal back to the Centre Her Royal Highness opened 25 years ago. The Princess Royal has a long association with our Centre as well as being Patron of the Spinal Injuries Association. We were very proud to show Her Royal Highness some of the wonderful new facilities we have created here and the way treatments and rehabilitation have developed over the years to ensure we remain at the cutting edge of spinal injury care.”
Rotherham’s maternity unit is shortlisted for two RCM awards this year; in the RCM's Annual Awards for the Midwifery Service of the Year and also, Midwife Emma Carver, for the RCM's Midwives' Midwife of the Year.
Sheffield’s Spinal Injuries Centre cares for patients who have sustained Spinal Cord Injuries following both traumatic and non-traumatic causes such as falls, road traffic accidents, sports injuries, and non-traumatic such as infections. The specialist teams also care for patients with other neurological conditions such as Spina Bifida and Multiple Sclerosis.