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Royal visit to King's Lynn hospital, which serves Fenland, to thank staff for their work during the coronavirus pandemic

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thank QEH staff for their care and compassion during the COVID-19 pandemic with special NHS birthday visit

The Royal couple have praised staff at a hospital and thanked the local community for supporting the NHS as it has responded to COVID-19 during a special visit to the hospital yesterday (Sunday, July 5).

The Duke and Duchess met members of staff who have made personal sacrifices and showed true dedication to their patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

#Covid19 survivor @SamGJude and @BlessyS19 share their experience of life during the pandemic during a special event to mark #QEH40 and the #NHSBirthday with Price William and Kate @KensingtonRoyal #ThankYouTogether (37880791)
#Covid19 survivor @SamGJude and @BlessyS19 share their experience of life during the pandemic during a special event to mark #QEH40 and the #NHSBirthday with Price William and Kate @KensingtonRoyal #ThankYouTogether (37880791)

Suzie Vaughan, an Operating Department Practitioner at QEH, who spent nine weeks apart from her children, was one of the guests from across the hospital and West Norfolk’s local community holding a socially distanced celebration following ‘saying thank you together’ clap to mark the NHS’s 72 nd birthday.

The Royal couple met Suzie, whose video of her reunion with daughters Hettie (7) and Bella (9) became a social media phenomenon with more than 2.5 million views.

Suzie, who was with Hettie and Bella for the celebration, said: “It was a difficult decision but I wanted to keep the girls safe so they moved in with my sister.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the QEH (37880718)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the QEH (37880718)

“I worked on the COVID Intensive Treatment Unit and COVID Emergency Department during the pandemic. The past three months have been exhausting physically and emotionally and The Duke and Duchess’s visit is a recognition of the hard work and compassion that everybody has put in to keep our patients safe.”

Staff across the Trust cared for more than 450 patients with COVID-19 in the first few months of the pandemic. 291 who tested positive for COVID, have since been discharged from QEH.

Frontline doctors and nurses, support teams and administration staff have all worked tirelessly to provide safe care for patients at the hospital. The site was split into zones to separate COVID and suspected COVID patients from non-COVID patients, including creating an additional Emergency

Department. New ways of working and technology were implemented at pace and staff were redeployed into new teams to support care.

Trust chairman, Professor Steve Barnett, said: “The past few months have been incredibly challenging for everyone at QEH, and for the wider NHS, as we have responded to this global pandemic. I could not be more proud of how our staff have responded – always putting patients and

their safety first.

“As the nation celebrates the NHS’s 72nd birthday and we mark our own hospital’s 40th anniversary, today’s visit by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is a testament to the high regard we all have for those who care for us when we need it the most.

“Both our staff and the local community, who have given us so much support over the past few months, should be rightly proud of themselves. We have an incredibly special relationship with our local community in West Norfolk, and today’s clap was about saying thank you for the unrivalled

support we have received in recent months, for which we could not be more grateful.”

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