Prince William pays tribute to Norwich nurse

Estrella Catalan

NNUH staff nurse Estrella Catalan died on Friday evening from coronavirus. - Credit: JustGiving

The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to a "much loved" nurse who died after contracting Covid-19 as he urged NHS executives to speak out about mental health.

Prince William passed on his condolences after Estrella Catalan, 52, died earlier this month at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) where she had worked for 18 years.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital flew its flag at half mast in memory of Estrella Catalan.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital flew its flag at half mast in memory of Estrella Catalan. - Credit: NNUH

The duke's words of sympathy came when he joined the weekly meeting of the East of England's NHS leadership, and he highlighted the importance of health bosses talking about mental wellbeing to encourage their workforce to "feel emboldened and inspired to also take it seriously".

He also said the nation faced a "very big waterfall of mental health issues" in the future and asked the executives about their own wellbeing.

The Duke of Cambridge speaking via video call to a charity in Glasgow that provides hot and healthy

The Duke of Cambridge paid tribute to a "much loved" nurse after joining a meeting of regional health chiefs.  - Credit: PA

Speaking during the video meeting held on Wednesday, he said: "I also want to just sort of pass on my thoughts to all of you and your teams about Estrella Catalan, who I believe was a much loved member of most of your teams and had been in the region for a long time at I think King's Lynn and the N&N.

"And I imagine that's hit everyone very hard so I'm very sorry to hear that, and my thoughts from my family are all with all of you who knew her and her family."

The Duke of Cambridge as he begins his new job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) at Cambrid

The Duke of Cambridge as he begins his new job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) at Cambridge Airport. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 13, 2015. The former RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot will work as a co-pilot transporting patients to hospital from emergencies ranging from road accidents to heart attacks. See PA story ROYAL William. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

In moving scenes, Mrs Catalan was interviewed from her hospital bed last month by the BBC and cried as she explained she only wanted to return to her patients: "I want to help. But I don't know when."

Ms Catalan, believed to be originally from the Philippines, joined the NNUH in September and worked as a staff nurse on the Gunthorpe and Heydon wards, and with the emergency department and acute stroke team.

According to a GoFundMe page created in her honour, which has raised more than £35,000 for her family, she is survived by her husband Melvin and their sons John and Josh. Her eldest son Vince died two years ago.

Floral tributes have been left outside the Emergency Department where Estrella Catalan worked.

Floral tributes have been left outside the Emergency Department where Estrella Catalan worked. - Credit: NNUH

Most Read

Ann Radmore, regional director of NHS England who led the meeting of around 35 senior NHS leaders including Sam Higginson, chief executive of the NNUH, said: "He mentioned her death to us, and I think that was very appropriate and helpful actually, because she was a much loved member of staff over in Norfolk."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus