Bosses at Norfolk's biggest hospital say they are bracing themselves for an influx of patients seeking cancer checks due to the "unspecified" nature of the King's diagnosis.

Buckingham Palace confirmed earlier this week that King Charles has been diagnosed with a form of cancer, having gone into hospital for an unrelated prostate issue.

However, the palace has not confirmed what type of cancer the King has, keeping specific details undisclosed.

On Wednesday, a meeting of the board of directors at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital heard concerns that this may have a wider impact on cancer referrals made to the Colney site.

Eastern Daily Press: Chris Cobb, chief operating officier of the N&NChris Cobb, chief operating officier of the N&N

Chris Cobb, chief operating officer at the hospital, said: "It is likely we will see an increase in activity due to the King having an unspecified form of cancer.

"We need to be prepared for that as we will have a lot of activity on the back of this week's news."

His comments also came following the announcement last month that Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, had been diagnosed with skin cancer.

It is a well-known health phenomenon that high profile people being diagnosed with certain conditions raises awareness of them, leading to more people looking to get themselves checked out.

This in turn can lead to more people receiving treatment that they need and learning of conditions they may otherwise have been unaware of.

But it also results in increases to waiting lists and added pressure on health services as they look to establish whether people have conditions or not.

When pressed, bosses declined to comment on whether the number of anxious people feeling they need a check-up could have been limited if more details of the King's specific type of diagnosis had been disclosed.

Bernard Brett, interim medical director at the hospital added: "Whenever you have a household name or a celebrity diagnosed with a cancer - and they don't come any bigger than the King - it tends to cause a lot of interest that results in a spike in referrals.

"I am not prepared to comment on what information the King wishes to share."