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Hospital to be granted Freedom of City as COVID thanks

The University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire is set to be granted Freedom of Entry to the City of Coventry.

The honour was proposed in Full Council by Leader of Coventry City Council, Cllr George Duggins, who said it was in recognition of the ‘incredible work’ of NHS staff at the hospital and across the city.

The proposal will have to be formally agreed by Full Council at a future meeting. Once agreed, hospital representatives will be invited to a presentation and there could then be a parade to allow the city to show its thanks.

Cllr Duggins said: “We have always known we have a tremendous hospital, with wonderful, dedicated staff, but that has been made even more evident in recent months.

“Our NHS workers have done an incredible job to combat COVID-19. They have been on the frontline since the very beginning, risking their own health and safety to protect others and save lives.


“We have shown our thanks through doorstep claps and messages of support, but I believe we need to award a formal honour – one which will last forever and show our city’s gratitude.

“We can never thank the hospital and its staff enough for what has been done in these past few months, and for the work that lies ahead, but I hope this goes some way to showing how much we appreciate their hard work and sacrifice.

“The Freedom of Entry to our great city is only given very rarely, but I cannot think of a more suitable recipient than UHCW and its staff.

“I look forward to the day when we can present the award and stand together as a city to cheer the workers parading through our streets. It will be a fantastic day for Coventry – and one the hospital will have helped to make possible.”

Professor Andy Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, said: “It will be an incredible honour to be granted the Freedom of Entry to the City of Coventry.

“This is a testament to the hard work, dedication and service of each of our 10,000 plus staff and volunteers committed to delivering outstanding healthcare to our patients.”

Dame Stella Manzie, Chair of UHCW NHS Trust, added: "We are so very grateful to Coventry City Council for honouring the contribution of the Trust during these unprecedented times.

“It will mean a great deal to receive this accolade from the city and its communities – UHCW could not do what it does without the support from everyone in the city.”

The honour was granted to HMS Diamond, Coventry’s adopted ship, in 2014, when the crew marched through the city to the cathedral, greeted by flag-waving residents.

A formal report will be taken through Coventry City Council in the near future detailing the proposal.

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