New staff accommodation at the West Suffolk Hospital officially opened

Jo Churchill MP West Suffolk Hospital
Jo Churchill MP opening the new accommodation blocks at the West Suffolk Hospital

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) welcomed staff, guests, and Jo Churchill MP, to the official opening and naming ceremony of three new accommodation blocks at the back of the West Suffolk Hospital site.

This 12-million pound scheme has replaced the previous 40-year-old hospital residences with three modern, five-storey buildings, providing 160 en-suite bedrooms complete with communal kitchen and living areas, including accessible facilities.

Stephen Dunn, chief executive at WSFT, said: “We are proud to have built these stunning new accommodation blocks for our staff as part of our Trust’s estates investment plan.

“We’ve increased the number of rooms available, and have developed a convenient, modern and affordable place to live for staff, healthcare colleagues and medical students.

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“We want to attract new joiners to our Trust and this wonderful part of the world, and these blocks are helping to ensure that our clinicians have a good experience and comfortable home to return to after a long shift if they want to live on-site.

“I’d like to thank my colleagues, the design team and contractors for their hard work and collaboration on this exciting development; it looks fantastic, and is another example of how we’re making our Trust a great place to work.”

Claire Scott, accommodation and housekeeping manager at WSFT, said: “Our residents have made the transition to the new accommodation already, and are really pleased with the results! Rent includes utilities, council tax, Wi-Fi and on-site parking, with nightly rates available when necessary – our accommodation is a really good value and flexible accommodation choice for our hard-working staff.”

Each block has been named after a staff member who has made an extraordinary contribution to the Trust, the NHS and the local community:

  • Nigel Beeton, imaging services manager
  • Jan Bloomfield, director of workforce and communications
  • Dr John Clark, clinical lead in diabetes and endocrinology and the director of the University of Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine.

Nigel Beeton has worked in the NHS for 41 years and manages the radiology, CT, MRI, ultrasound and endoscopy departments at WSFT – a key component of many diagnoses in the Trust. He joined the Trust in 1983 on an 18-month fixed term contract, met his future wife Carol, and stayed here permanently ever since! Nigel has supported and steered the departments and his colleagues through some huge changes, such as the digitalisation of the radiology department and the installation of the breast imaging suite and the Trust’s first MRI scanner, both in 2003. The Trust achieved Imaging Services Accreditation Scheme accreditation, a national recognition of a safe and effective service, in 2011.

Chief executive Stephen Dunn CBE, John Clark, clinical lead in diabetes and endocrinology and the director of the University of Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine, Louisa Pepper, non-executive director, Jo Churchill MP, Craig Black, executive director of resources.

Jan Bloomfield, the Trust’s longest-serving director after 28 years in the role and 37 in the NHS overall, announced her retirement in July 2018. She oversaw all workforce, communications, human resource and charity functions for the Trust culminating with the Trust becoming a CQC outstanding organisation with some of the best levels of staff engagement in the country.

Nigel Beeton, imaging services manager, and Dr John Clark, clinical lead in diabetes and endocrinology and the director of the University of Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine

Dr John Clark, clinical lead in diabetes and endocrinology and the director of the University of Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine, joined the Trust as a consultant physician in 1992. Dr Clark was key to the creation of the multidisciplinary diabetes centre at the West Suffolk Hospital, bringing his project to fruition with the support of his colleagues and a fundraising drive from the local community. He also tutored medical students for ten years as part of the University of Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine, before becoming the course director for 10 years, a role which he is stepping down from next month.

If you’d like to join the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, visit www.wsh.nhs.uk or search on NHS Jobs.