The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chat to Suzie Vaughan and daughters and senior QEH staff. Picture: Ian Burt

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge praised staff at King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital yesterday (Sunday) and thanked the local community for supporting the NHS during the pandemic.

William and Kate made a special visit to the hospital where they met staff and heard about the personal sacrifices made as they cared for COVID-19 patients.

Suzie Vaughan, an operating department practitioner, who spent nine weeks apart from her two daughters, was one of the guests at the socially distanced celebration which marked 72 years of the NHS.

The royal couple met Suzie, whose emotional reunion video with Hettie, 7, and Bella, 9, last month got more than 2.5 million views on social media. 

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.

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, the 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.”

More details in Friday’s YLP.