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King's Lynn's hospital coming out of Covid stronger

Post-Covid Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital now has its lowest ever rate of staff sickness and one of the lowest rates of staff vacancies in the country.

This week the rate was running at just 4.25 per cent. During the peak of the pandemic it was at 12 per cent among the 4,000 staff at the hospital.

But with staff who had been shielding now back at work, the figure has plummeted and deputy chief executive Laura Skaife-Knight gone back to levels somewhat below what it was previously.

Staff on the ward at the QEH. (47330070)
Staff on the ward at the QEH. (47330070)

She said: "The wellness of the staff is paramount to us and with that in mind we have given everyone an extra day of leave taken on a further clinical psychologist to help staff deal with the trauma felt.

"We are now dealing with long-term sickness in a better organised way as well."

The QEH currently has just six Covid patients, none of them with long Covid and none in ICU.

Miss Skaife-Knight said the hospital now is back to just one ED from the two ran during the peak of the pandemic and a good start has been made in tackling the elective surgery backlog.

Vacancies are running at less than five per cent, which Miss Skaife-Knight was among the lowest in the country and an impressive turnaround from a few years ago when the hospital was very short of nurses in particular.

She said: "We have had success with our recruitment slogan, 'From packed trains, to country lanes' and achieved better retention of existing staff too."

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