In recognition and gratitude of the £32 million raised for NHS charities, Captain Tom Moore was invited as the Guest of Honour to open the new NHS Nightingale hospital that was built at Harrogate Convention Centre. He was joined by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, as well as the Chief Executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens.
Captain Tom Moore has strong ties to the area as he was born in Keighley, Yorkshire, he served with the Duke of Wellington Regiment, and on his 100th birthday he was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. He has since been awarded the Pride of Britain award, the Yorkshire Regiment medal, achieved a UK number 1 song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with Michael Ball and received a Knighthood in the Special Honours 2020.
Certainly there was no more fitting person to open our NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and the Humber than Captain Tom Moore. At the opening, Captain Tom Moore said:
“All the doctors and nurses throughout the national health service are doing such a magnificent job under very difficult conditions. Every day, they’re putting themselves in harm’s way and they’re doing it with a determination that only we can do. We must all say ‘thank you very much to the national health service,’ all of you, everyone throughout the whole system, who are doing such a magnificent job.”
Throughout the project, the Roses Medical team were heartened to see how “the whole system” came together in order to achieve this ambitious goal. “There were incredible efforts put in across the entire supply chain from the teams at Precision Parts UK, Millenium Medical Products Ltd, Lawton Tube, BOC, and Shire Controls ensuring that the pipe, products and medical equipment was delivered on time to enable us to complete the works. Special mentions and appreciation must be given to Phil Gee, Oliver Lawton, and Rob Parry. We would never have been able to complete without their assistance” says Trevor Cook, Managing Director of Roses Medical.
Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, said: “Captain Tom is simply inspirational. He not only embodies the spirit of our incredible veteran community, but the resolve of this nation. During these unprecedented times he has reminded us all hardship is easier endured when we place the needs of others above our own, and approach everything with a smile”.
“Everybody on the full site team was pulling together in the same direction. It really was a surreal experience working at breakneck pace and there’s now a real sense of camaraderie with people that we had met for the first time on this project” says Trevor. “Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all sweetness and light, mistakes were made but it’s how you get over those situations to a workable solution and still succeed that’s important.”
When asked about what the keys to success were on this project, he felt it was down to the fact that “we had a common purpose, there was no blame game when things went wrong, there was no criticism or arguing, there was constructive, collaborative problem-solving, and it was great working with the Army on this project. They brought the utmost professionalism, unwavering positivity – nothing was too much trouble – and a great sense of dry humour.”
Harrogate Convention Centre have also been reflecting on the journey, writing that the centre “stands as a beacon; it’s a visible embodiment of how we can stand up and be counted when needed most.”
What is clear to see is that this project touched everyone involved. Medical gas engineers, architects, project managers, consultants, manufacturing and delivery teams, security staff, cleaners, conference centre staff – everyone gave it their all to see this incredible project through and it will stay with everyone involved for many years to come.