A GP from North Wales along with other frontline NHS workers spoke to the Duke of Cambridge during a virtual call.

Five NHS staff and volunteers from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were chosen for the morale-boosting video chat.

Dr Helen Alefounder, a GP at Rysseldene Surgery in Colwyn Bay, was asked by the future king what it was like in North Wales currently and how she and her team were coping with resources.

The clinical director for the emergency department at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor responded: "It is different across North Wales. We have got three distinct geographical areas so the East being nearer to England is harder hit currently than the West and areas like Anglesey so we can learn from our colleagues in the East and see the wave that is potentially coming further West.

Rhyl Journal: Dr Helen AlefounderDr Helen Alefounder

"We hope it isn't and we hope with everything we are doing and the guidance that everybody is adhering to that we are managing to stem the flow.

"The logistics that apply to this is huge and we have more and more vaccines coming on a regular basis but we had 400 in last Wednesday and we managed to get out on the Thursday and the Friday and vaccinate the vast majority of all our care homes which was quite good fun actually. And everyone is so grateful for it and everybody is working so well together actually, it is a real joy to be doing it.

"It is so important to be doing it currently that we all need to work really hard to keep it going.

Rhyl Journal: Dr Helen Alefounder (top centre) with other NHS frontline workers spoke to the Duke of Cambridge on video callDr Helen Alefounder (top centre) with other NHS frontline workers spoke to the Duke of Cambridge on video call

"We are still seeing sick patients and we are still having to deal with everything we would normally do within general practice and we are just very thankful to the staff that they are willing to give up evenings and weekends to try and help vaccinate because it really is the most important thing that we can be doing at the moment."

"It is tiring," Dr Aledfounder added.

"I do wonder how we are all going to be feeling or looking if we did this again in a few months time but currently at the moment it is...everyone has got a bit of a buzz and things are moving really well."

Rhyl Journal: Helen with her team whilst vaccinating care homesHelen with her team whilst vaccinating care homes

Along with Dr Alefounder, on the call was Dalene Steele, a nurse and clinical lead on COVID-19 vaccinations in care homes across Ayrshire and Arran; Jake Plummer, a volunteer flow manager at Solent NHS Trust and University Hospital Southampton; Bronagh Hegarty, a pharmacist at Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry; and Dr Nikki Kanani, Medical Director of Primary Care for NHS England and NHS Improvement. 

During the call, The Duke of Cambridge said: “I want to say a huge congratulations to everyone involved in the vaccination programme because it looks tremendous, it really does.

"I know what a massive difference it is going to make to everyone. It is also worth pointing out I think that this isn’t something that happens really easily and that everyone has access to around the world.

"This is because we have a world-leading NHS and we have the right people, research and development here.” 

[Video: BCUHB]