Going above and beyond the call of duty

During the COVID-19 crisis, the Chelsea Pensioners been particularly appreciative of the care team. The doctors, nurses and carers, supported by Army medics, have not just helped to look after their health, but have kept their spirits up. Here some of the Pensioners explain why care at the Royal Hospital Chelsea has shown itself to be so exceptional during the pandemic. 

Pensioners praise the team committed to their care 

“The care staff have done all that they could do look after everybody. You have check-ups, you’re weighed and you have your temperature taken. They don’t let a week go by without checking you for something or other. You can’t fault them – I keep asking them to marry me, but they won’t! If I wasn’t here, I wouldn’t have survived at all without the medical care and everything. And it would be lonely. They look after us very, very well here.” – Gareth 

“The soldier medics understand us and we understand them – we’re all ex-Army. Not only were they looking after us medically, they were bringing the food up to the ward and delivering it. They didn’t realise they’d be in the catering corps!” – Mick 

“The staff here have played a blinder. They look after us physically and they stop for friendly chats, which is brilliant, because it’s what some people need. Hats off to them.” – Mike 

Pensioner Monica
“The nurses and care-workers put their backs into it every day. I was a nurse many years ago in a geriatric ward – we worked ourselves silly to get them better. But what we did is nothing to what people are doing now in hospitals and nursing homes. They’re going above and beyond the call of duty. It makes me proud really. As a nurse, you’re busy keeping an eye on everybody and seeing they’ve got what they need. That’s what’s happened here. Everyone has pulled together. When I came out of isolation after I’d had Covid, people were happy Id got better and were wishing me well. It’s so nice to know that people were concerned about you. It’s a marvellous feeling.” - Monica 

“I cannot possibly say enough about the care and attention we get here. The staff here put in 110% all the time if that’s possible. The guys over in the Infirmary need a lot of nursing and a lot of care and I’ve never seen any of the nursing staff coming out of there miserable. I take my hat off to nurses everywhere. The nursing profession in this country has really come up to the mark over the last few months.” – Pete

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Brompton Cemetery Seed Sowing
Sowing wildflowers in memory of past Chelsea Pensioners

On 6 May, Chelsea Pensioners and members of the Royal Hospital’s grounds team joined representatives from the Royal Parks, the Royal Parks Guild and the Friends of Brompton Cemetery to sow a patch of wildflower seeds in Brompton Cemetery as part of the Battlefields and Butterflies initiative.

Chelsea Pensioner Centenarians
100 years old and still going strong

Recent research backs up the anecdote that Chelsea Pensioners not only live considerably longer than their peers outside (by over five years, on average), but that their lifetimes once they come to the Royal Hospital are extending, year on year. This strongly suggests that the care and community here contribute to greater longevity – as well as improving quality of life. 

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