Heartwarming video as Lister Hospital discharges last coronavirus patient from ICU – on NHS 72nd birthday

Lister celebrated the NHS 72nd birthday in poignant style on Sunday. Picture: East & North Herts NHS

Lister celebrated the NHS 72nd birthday in poignant style on Sunday. Picture: East & North Herts NHS Trust - Credit: Archant

It was an NHS birthday to remember for Lister Hospital yesterday, as it discharged its final coronavirus patient from the Intensive Care Unit – a landmark moment in the hospital’s fight against COVID-19.

Lister’s final ICU patient, Ray, was triumphantly wheeled out of the ICU after nearly two months in intensive care – to rapturous applause and tears from Lister staff.

This watershed moment now means that the Stevenage hospital currently has no COVID-19 patients in intensive care, while Ray and others continue their recovery from a specialist ward.

Tragically, 163 patients have died from coronavirus at East and North Herts NHS Trust hospitals during the pandemic – however only one death has been recorded since June 20.

Rachael Corser, chief nurse at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister Hospital, said: “We are thrilled that Ray has left our critical care unit, and been moved to a specialist ward after almost two months in intensive care.

“This is a big step for both Ray and the trust, as he was the only remaining patient with COVID-19 in critical care.

“The moment is all the more poignant for being on the day of the 72nd anniversary of the NHS, and I am proud of the high-quality care colleagues are giving our patients every day.

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“Thank you to both staff and our community for their support during the pandemic, and we hope Ray continues to recover well.”

The hospital’s landmark moment coincided with the NHS’s 72nd birthday yesterday, which was marked across the East with a Spitfire flypast.

A special ‘Thank You NHS’ plane flew over a number of hospitals in the region – including Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

The Spitfire was restored by family-owned Aircraft Restoration Company who restore vintage aircrafts at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire.

Stevenage resident Andy Males attended the flypast, saying: “I walked down from my house in the Old Town, and waited eagerly along with hundreds of people who seemed to have flocked to catch a glimpse of the plane. At about 4.40pm, we finally heard it pass overhead, then looping back and giving us a second viewing before flying off over Lister to its next destination.

“It was an honour and thrill to see a spitfire over my home town and to be part of the NHS celebrations.”

Leader of Stevenage Borough Council Sharon Taylor said: “The fly past was just wonderful, thank you @IWMDuxford and thank you to our incredible NHS. Special shout for our top team at the Lister”