'Behind every number is a patient' - Hospital boss on the anguish of fighting a pandemic

Caroline Shaw says the pandemic has presented the hospital with unprecedented challenges. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The boss of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has spoken of the unprecedented challenge of fighting a pandemic and the heartbreak of losing patients and colleagues to coronavirus.

The hospital has now treated more than 360 Covid patients, with 111 deaths and 181 patients discharged having recovered.

Caroline Shaw said her medical staff had "seen things they probably never thought they'd see in their careers".

  • Caroline Shaw spoke to ITV News Anglia's Rob Setchell.

Mrs Shaw said the loss of healthcare assistant Chrissie Emerson last month had devastated staff and the community.

The hospital now plans to name a new unit 'The Emerson Suite'.

Chrissie Emerson Credit: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

"Lots of things have been really heartbreaking," said Mrs Shaw.

"When we stopped people visiting it was a Saturday and a frail elderly gentleman came to visit his wife. We couldn't allow him to visit her for his own safety.

"The thing that will stay with me for the rest of my life is that when people have passed away, their relatives have asked, us who was with them?

"We've always made sure we've had nurses and doctors there."

The Queen Elizabeth features in a documentary celebrating our NHS Heroes on Channel 4 tonight (May 6).

Mrs Shaw said they wanted to take part to highlight the contributions being made by their staff.