Young patient flicks the switch at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Christmas lights event

Archie Ramshaw (9) turned on the Christmas lights at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.

The Northwold youngster, a patient on the Rudham ward, was unaware he had been chosen to do the honours, but jumped at the chance to flick the switch and illuminate the tree outside the rehabilitation unit.

Yesterday’s switch-on event followed the official opening of a new specialist unit at the hospital which could spell an end to cancelled operations.

The ward will cater solely for patients coming in for elective (non-emergency) procedures such as hip replacements and beds will be ring-fenced so operations can go ahead as planned without being affected by other hospital pressures.

It has been formed by combining the former Denver and Elm wards into a single, 44-bed unit and was opened by retired consultant surgeon Mr Robert Greatorex.

“While I was here I tried for nearly 20 years to get such a unit established,” he said. “I am delighted that it has finally come to fruition.”