Photo gallery: Picture focus of Kate and William's visit to King's Lynn hospital
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn yesterday afternoon to mark the NHS’s 72nd birthday, and to thank health and social care staff who are continuing to provide crucial support in the national response to Covid-19.
Their Royal Highnesses joined employees from across the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at an afternoon tea to celebrate the occasion, which also falls ahead of the hospital’s 40th anniversary on the Wednesday, July 22.
During their visit, The Duke and Duchess spoke to staff and volunteers who have worked to ensure that the hospital was able to cope with the pandemic, including medical staff, catering and operational staff, and those who have returned to work from retirement to support the Covid-19 effort.
Among the staff the royal couple sat and spoke with was Suzie Vaughan. She achieved national fame when the moving video of her seeing her two young daughters, Bella and Hettie, again after working nine straight weeks on intensive care, went viral. Her daughters were there to meet the Duke and Duchess too.
Kate was appropriately wearing a dress in NHS blue for the visit.
The NHS and social care system was created on the 5th July 1948, transforming the health and wellbeing of the nation by bringing hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists together for the first time to provide free care. 2020 has been the most challenging year in the health service’s history with staff across the organisation working around the clock to tackle the outbreak, and to provide care for 100,000 Covid-19 patients who have needed specialist hospital treatment.
This effort has been supported by thousands of former staff members who came out of retirement, and by volunteers and key workers across the UK.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been caring for patients since 1980 and currently serves a population of around 331,000 people from across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. The hospital has provided care to 450 Covid-19 patients, and has now recruited 46 patients to the Covid-19 Recovery Trial, with more than 500 enrolled in their other coronavirus research studies.