West Suffolk Hospital's success must be cherished

I have never been in any doubt just how cherished and supported our West Suffolk hospital is, as well as the dedication and skill of every single member of staff.

So it is fantastic to see this recognised by the Care Quality Commission. For in the eyes of the Care Quality Commission –all those involved with delivering that care and our local community - West Suffolk Hospital is an ‘Outstanding’ hospital!

I am a frequent visitor to our hospital, to talk to staff and patients, and it is wonderful that everything we hold dear about West Suffolk, and the NHS in general, has been backed up by the CQC.

The last visit I made just three weeks ago, I spent the afternoon speaking to staff, patients, and ambulance crews about the challenges and the outcomes this winter. The sense amongst staff that the place and people they work with are outstanding, permeates through their work and when you speak with them.

To put this achievement into context, the rating puts West Suffolk amongst the top seven rated general hospitals in the country and the fifteenth UK hospital ever to receive an outstanding rating. We are so proud and fortunate that such an incredible service is on our doorstep.

The report pays particular tribute to the fact West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is caring, effective and well-led. Inspectors found end-of-life care was particularly strong and patients are respected.

Putting the report to one side, West Suffolk Hospital is an outstanding hospital in its own right having, last year, secured status as a Centre for Global Excellence for its use of E-Care digital patient records, something I am personally passionate about. Few know this, but our hospital is also one of the most financially efficient trusts; an effective feature of delivering quality healthcare.

Crucially, our hospital is deeply embedded in our community, not just building a network of support but working with general practitioners and local care services to deliver the highest quality, most effective, broadest reaching care.

Developed under the exceptional leadership of Dr Stephen Dunn and his senior colleagues, the hospital is an exemplar of quality NHS care in this country. Credit is also due to Roger Quince, who stepped down recently after ten superb years as Chair of the Trust.

I am excited about the future of the potential of our hospital, to go on delivering more for locals and driving forward our NHS for the better.

Above all else, this is a reward for every single member of the West Suffolk Hospital team, who have delivered an outstanding, in every sense of the word, NHS hospital at the heart of our Bury St Edmunds and West Suffolk community.

Published in the Bury Free Press