The media spotlight was on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital this week as staff continue to grieve a much-loved colleague lost to coronavirus.
Chief executive Caroline Shaw spoke about the devastating impact of Chrissie Emerson’s death and revealed plans for a new unit at the hospital named in her honour.
The 64-year-old healthcare assistant, who died on April 19, was known as the “mum of the unit” and Mrs Shaw told The Telegraph colleagues feared they could be next.
Two more members of staff had moved to the COVID-19 intensive care unit and another QEH nurse, mum to a one-year-old child, remained critically ill at Papworth Hospital, she said.
“My colleagues are terrified they could die. The day after Chrissie died, our PPE (personal protective equipment) usage doubled,” Mrs Shaw told the newspaper.
The King’s Lynn hospital also featured in a one-off Channel 4 documentary called NHS Heroes: Fighting to Save Our Lives, on Wednesday.
Filmed on smart phones, the programme explored the stories of NHS workers on the frontline of the battle against COVID-19, including Karon Strong, Matron for the medicine division at the QEH.
Miss Strong said: “These last few months have been hugely difficult – with many families not able to visit and spend precious time with their loved ones and for our staff who are doing a fantastic job in the most challenging of circumstances and pushing themselves to their limits.
“Never have I been so proud to be a matron, but what I have witnessed in recent months has been heart-breaking and has taken its toll on us all both physically and emotionally.”
QEH staff are to be given a special chance to say goodbye to Mrs Emerson when her funeral is held on Tuesday.
The hearse is to be driven around the hospital grounds on the way to the service.
Mrs Shaw said staff would throw roses on to the road, adding: “Chrissie would have wanted this.”