Prince William tells Craigavon Hospital porter he hopes to visit some day and meet him in person

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Prince William called a porter at Craigavon Hospital for chat last week, it has been revealed.

The future king telphoned Portering Supervisor, John Brown personally to find out how the team at the Co Armagh hospital were functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Duke of Cambridge even joked with Mr Brown, adding that he hoped to visit Craigavon some day and meet him personally.

Speaking after the call, John, who has worked as a porter for 20 years and is a Supervisor of a team of 55, said that Prince William ‘was very down to earth’.

“It was definitely something different for a Thursday morning! It was a really nice conversation and it was a pleasure speaking with him.

“The first thing he asked was about the weather and if we had any snow! He then asked how we are all doing and about the challenges that our department has faced.

“I explained that we had a busy month in January but that our biggest challenge was when at one point, over a two week period, we had 17 staff absent, either through positive COVID tests or self-isolation. This was a challenge but I told him our staff have been fantastic, we are a real team and it has been a pleasure to work with so many dedicated people. He was glad to hear that everyone in the team has recovered well.”

During the five minute phone call the Prince also asked about the role the porters play in the hospital.

John Brown, Portering Supervisor at Craigavon Area Hospital, was delighted to speak to His Royal Highness Prince William, last week about how his team have contributed to the smooth functioning of the busy hospital during the COVID 19 pandemic.John Brown, Portering Supervisor at Craigavon Area Hospital, was delighted to speak to His Royal Highness Prince William, last week about how his team have contributed to the smooth functioning of the busy hospital during the COVID 19 pandemic.
John Brown, Portering Supervisor at Craigavon Area Hospital, was delighted to speak to His Royal Highness Prince William, last week about how his team have contributed to the smooth functioning of the busy hospital during the COVID 19 pandemic.

“He asked what sort of jobs the porters do in Craigavon and I explained that anything that moves in Craigavon, it is my department that moves it! We are involved in security, moving patients, ensuring the safe transportation of medication, COVID and blood samples, we are a jack of all trades and he had a bit of a laugh at that.

“At the end of the conversation he said that he hoped to be in Craigavon some day and maybe he would meet us in person and I told him he would be more than welcome to come to Craigavon Hospital and we would make him feel right at home.”

Anita Caroll, Assistant Director of Support Services said: “Throughout the pandemic, the portering team have adapted and responded to the challenges of wearing PPE, social distancing and the huge changes that have been made around the site. They have shown great commitment and flexibility, moving site if needed, and always willing to cover extra shifts with increased staffing issues due to COVID-19 and they have shown great compassion for their colleagues and patients during such a stressful time. We are very proud of them all.”

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