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Six Covid-19 patients left in King's Lynn's hospital

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There are now just six Covid patients left in Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, with just one left in the intensive care unit (ICU).

That compares to a total of 220 Covid patients back at the height of the second wave in January.

A total of 475 people have died at the QEH within 28 days of being diagnosed with coronavirus since the pandemic started just over a year ago.

Medical staff at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (45715174)
Medical staff at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (45715174)

The hospital is now just running two Covid wards and that is expected to be reduced to one next month if things continue to return to normal.

But today the hospital said it was too early to say when visiting hours will be restored.

Deputy chief executive of the hospital trust, Laura Skaife-Knight, said: "We are waiting for national guidance on visiting hours. There are also three Norfolk hospitals and we try to be consistent. We should know more in the next week or so what the arrangements will look like."

The current state of the QEH roof, held up by steel beams (45715163)
The current state of the QEH roof, held up by steel beams (45715163)

If as hoped society proceeds out of the pandemic, the hospital will be aiming to return to normal as soon as possible with the restoration of just one ED (emergency department) and elective surgery, which has been so adversely affected during the past year.

Ms Skaife-Knight said that the QEH starts in a better place than before the pandemic in that now it has the 26 ring-fenced beds for electives at the previously-private Sandringham Hospital.

Also the innovations of virtual consultations will continue to make a difference to lists, she said.

Back Our Bid Build Our Future (45715157)
Back Our Bid Build Our Future (45715157)

She said North West Norfolk MP James Wild had proved "hugely useful" in pushing the hospital's case with Government which in part had led to an extra £20 million in funding from the Department of Health but that the focus remains on winning the battle for a new hospital.

At present there remains 131 props in 41 separate sites in the hospital, although the critical care department reopened on Tuesday after being closed for repairs and "tap and test" on both the roof and walls. "It has been a fantastic effort," she said.

The Lynn News has been backing the Build the Future, Back the Bid campaign to persuade Government to place the QEH on the list of 48 hospitals to be rebuilt.

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