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Turnstone Column: Hunstanton writer John Maiden praises treatment received at King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital

In his weekly Turnstone column, Hunstanton writer John Maiden discusses the “warm and welcoming” treatment he received in hospital…

One morning last week I switched on the television and found myself looking at depressing pictures of the QEH Hospital, while a young woman was being interviewed about her experiences as a patient.

She mentioned the fact that in places the roof has to be propped up by thousands of scaffolding poles.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn
Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn

This has been well documented, but photographic evidence of raw sewage erupting from inspection covers came as an unpleasant surprise.

Little did I realise as I watched this horror show unfolding that I was destined to see for myself how one very important component of our local hospital is coping with these difficult working conditions.

When I informed the surgery in Hunstanton that although I was definitely sober, my speech was slurred, I was advised to ask someone to drive me to Accident and Emergency as soon as possible.

My wife and daughter, Francesca, did the driving between them, with the latter (a fully qualified nurse) acting as my carer throughout the five hours in which I received a really thorough check-up before Francesca was permitted to drive me home.

Needless to say, this is not the end of my story because I am booked in to attend the Stroke Clinic at the hospital this Thursday morning.

I have no doubt that the people there will be as kind and caring as those in A & E where the all the staff deserved ten out of ten and a smiling face.

This would hardly be enough praise, because everyone I met greeted me with a warm and welcoming smile, while my response amounted to little more than a lopsided grin.

Perhaps this was not altogether out of place, because thinking back to the shocking state of the building, the staff and patients have precious little choice other then to grin and bear it.

Surely there is a lesson to be learned by future decision-makers from debacles of this kind Erecting hospitals and other public buildings with an expected life span of 40 years makes no sense at all, when Victorian buildings such as Hunstanton's Golden Lion, built in 1845, is being refurbished and will probably still be standing for many years to come.

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