The debate about the quality of service at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital has set Facebook alight this week after a report in The Sun branded the hospital part of the ‘National Hellish Service’.

The national newspaper published pictures of the emergency ward at the Lister – snapped by a Welwyn Garden City woman – of trolleys lined up in corridors, and printed comments comparing the scene with a disaster movie like Pearl Harbour.

But many locals have defended the under pressure staff at the Coreys Mill Lane hospital – including Stevenage mum Gemma Brown whose post on the Lister Hospital’s Facebook page has received more than 700 shares and around 270 comments.

She posted: “I just want to let your hospital know and all your staff realise how incredible you are and this headline right here “National Hellish Service!” makes me angry, because I know you are all most likely working back to back hours right now, lacking sleep and running round like headless chickens in order to get these patients seen, and missing out on quality family time with your children and partners too.

“The work you do is what half of us couldn’t even think about doing. You are heroes. This is a government issue and I really hope that this gets addressed by the Tories.”

But others being treated in the emergency department over the busy Easter weekend were less positive.

Graham Wicks was taken to the Lister last week after a suspected heart attack. He told the Comet: “I arrived at the hospital at 6.30am and had blood tests and ECG and an X-Ray, and was told I needed to be admitted.

“I was told a bed had been requested at 12 noon. I was sitting in the corridors and had blood taken in the corridors. I had to have an injection and so I could have some privacy they took me to a cupboard to do it. I still hadn’t been given a bed by 1am on Tuesday morning and as I’ve had bowel cancer I cannot sit for very long so after more than 18 hours I asked if I was going to get a bed and they said no.

“I then rang my wife to ask her to pick me up because I could not bear it any longer.”

A spokesman for East and North Herts NHS Trust which runs the hospital, said: “

Awaiting quote from Trust so please leave space..