MP's delight as cafe opens at hospital

The opening of a new café in King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital was hailed a success by the town's MP yesterday.

The opening of a new café in King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital was hailed a success by the town's MP yesterday.

Henry Bellingham welcomed the privately run Café Ritazza and its shop in the hospital as a good example of the public and private sector working together.

And said he was pleased it would soon be offering hot meals to visitors - an issue which had been raised since the concourse café opened about a month ago and hot meals were no longer available for people.

The café has also been criticized for being too expensive, with a muffin costing £1.59, a regular cappuccino £1.85 and a tea at £1.15, but Mr Bellingham said he thought this was reasonable compared to town centre prices.

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And there have been worries Café Ritazza's shop would take away business from the League of Friend's shop.

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But Mr Bellingham said he hoped it would being more people to the shop and to use the area when they visit friends or relatives and that overall it was a much nicer place to be.

“I'm very impressed with the new café. It is much brighter, a lot lighter and much more welcoming.

“If you have been visiting a relative and you are feeling a bit depressed you can come here and it is a very happy atmosphere.”

He said he spoke to customers and the League of Friends about their concerns.

A board member at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said her farewells yesterday to the NHS Trust she has been working with for the last few years.

Human resources and facilities management director Amanda Lyes has left the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after being on the board since 2003.

Carol Townsend, a non-executive director of the hospital trust, said Amanda was 'one of the coolest people in a crisis I have ever met'.

In her four years with the hospital she had been involved in many major challenges, such as Agenda for Change, contract negotiations and Turnaround.

She is taking up a similar role at Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust, working alongside former QEH chief executive Ruth May.

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