A Lutton health care worker was among those that met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they greeted staff at a nearby hospital.
Amanda-Jane Weir was among those in attendance at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in King’s Lynn as Prince William and wife Catherine popped in.
The pair praised staff at the hospital, which serves the Long Sutton area, and the NHS in general for their handling of the coronavirus.
Among those at the event was Amanda, the hospital’s head of staff engagement, whom was responsible for planning and leading on the Royal Visit for the QEH.
She said: “We are truly honoured that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose to visit QEH on this memorable day.
“They listened intently with compassion and gave praise as staff members from various job roles across the trust shared their personal stories of working through the pandemic.
“Over the last few months our staff at Team QEH has worked tirelessly around the clock to provide compassionate and safe care to patients, often pushing their own anxieties and fears aside.
“By return the local population has demonstrated such unwavering support and generosity. The royal visit demonstrates just how important our hospital is for the community we serve.
“It was an honour and a privilege to be able to support this event, and I am hoping this will be the first of many.”
Staff across the trust cared for more than 450 patients with COVID-19 in the first few months of the pandemic. 291 who tested positive for COVID have since been discharged from QEH.
Frontline doctors and nurses, support teams and administration staff have all worked tirelessly to provide safe care for patients at the hospital.
The site was split into zones to separate COVID and suspected COVID patients from non-COVID patients, including creating an additional Emergency Department.
New ways of working and technology were implemented at pace and staff were redeployed into new teams to support care.
Trust chairman Professor Steve Barnett said: “The past few months have been incredibly challenging for everyone at QEH, and for the wider NHS, as we have responded to this global pandemic.
“I could not be more proud of how our staff have responded – always putting patients and their safety first.
“As the nation celebrates the NHS’s 72nd birthday and we mark our own hospital’s 40th anniversary, the visit by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is a testament to the high regard we all have for those who care for us when we need it the most.
“Both our staff and the local community, who have given us so much support over the past few months, should be rightly proud of themselves.
“We have an incredibly special relationship with our local community in West Norfolk, and the clap was about saying thank you for the unrivalled support we have received in recent months, for which we could not be more grateful.”