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Support for King's Lynn hospital 'astonishing' but 'best gift' is people staying home

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The community in West Norfolk has been “amazing” in terms of helping to keep spirits up at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, officials have said.

Medical director Dr Frankie Swords said the donations of food, offers of accommodation and the Clap for Carers have been “really touching” for staff – but above all, they are grateful for people staying at home.

“I don’t think I have ever felt such as positive spirit around the hospital – from the staff, patients and the community – and it’s definitely made a big difference for the staff,” she said.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.. (32498476)
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.. (32498476)

“We’ve got lots of staff talking about when they come home and hear the clapping for carers or driving past rainbows in people’s windows,” Dr Swords added.

“Not least being able to have a hot and free meal in the middle of a nightshift because of our local takeaways, farmers, pubs and guesthouses – it’s been astonishing how much we have received.”

Around 70 different organisations and institutions have provided meals, groceries such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and accommodation for staff at the QEH.

“Supermarkets have been really generous with things like handcreams, because we’ve all been washing our hands about 100 times a day.

“It’s things like that that are really touching for the staff – they are really, really grateful for that.”

But there is one ‘present’ that the staff are grateful for above anything else.

“The one thing that our staff really want to see and would like to continue receiving is news that people are staying home,” Dr Swords added.

“That’s the best present you can give to the NHS – observing the social distancing and staying at home because if we can stop people getting it, then that’s so much better, we can stop the spread.”

Dr Swords thanked people for their support so far in terms of acts of kindness, but she said the act of kindness by staying at home – even when it is sunny outside – is the best thing that can be done to show support to the QEH.

“That’s the kindest thing you can do for the hospital,” she said.

Last week, the hospital launched a fundraising campaign to help their continuing battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

The appeal, which is aiming to raise £30,000 to provide items intended to boost both staff and patient morale during the crisis, has raised more than £15,000 so far.

Donations to the appeal can be made via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/qehcovid19support or by sending a cheque, made payable to ‘QEH Covid-19 Support Fund No 41020’ to the Finance Department at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 4ET.

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