News Centre


Exciting announcements and developments

It has been another busy and exciting month, with numerous announcements and changes being implemented across our services.

 Many of you will know that the Government recently announced further details of its New Hospital Programme. On the day of the announcement, we were visited by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay MP, giving us the opportunity to demonstrate the progress we have made thus far. The announcement, which prioritises our scheme, means that we have the funding security we need to push on, and deliver a new West Suffolk Hospital by the end of the decade. This is a significant project for west Suffolk, and because of this, we are determined to continue working with our staff, patients, communities, and partners, to produce a facility which will bring enormous benefits for decades to come. Therefore, I urge you to work with us and offer your opinions so we can create the best facility possible. For more details on how to get involved, please visit our website.

 The British Medical Association recently announced further strike action by junior doctors from 7am on Wednesday, 14 June, until 7am on Saturday, 17 June. This comes after a breakdown in talks between the union and the Government. Regrettably, this means many appointments and procedures will have to be postponed on these days; we will contact those patients whose appointment or procedure is affected. While we will implement tried and tested processes to allow us to continue delivering safe care during this time, I ask that you help us by using our services wisely. Please only attend our emergency department if you have a serious injury or life-threatening emergency only. Please consider using your GP, pharmacist or NHS 111 for minor injuries and illnesses. While I understand that pay and conditions are an important issue for our staff, and I completely support their legal right to take strike action, I hope the Government and the union can reach an agreement soon. It is imperative that we focus on tackling the backlog of patients waiting for treatment and continue our work to improve the services we provide.

On 15 May, we returned to reporting against the 4-hour standard following an end to a national pilot we participated in. This metric measures the time between a patient attending our emergency department and them being either admitted, transferred, or discharged. Reporting on this metric will help provide further insight into our performance giving patients the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

Recently, we have been working hard to improve pregnancy outcomes. Operating collaboratively across our integrated care system, we launched our smoke-free maternity pathway in May, which aims to support pregnant women and people and their households in achieving healthy pregnancies and reducing the risks associated with smoking during and after pregnancy. This pathway offers parents access to a smoking cessation midwife who can provide guidance and support, such as nicotine replacement therapy. Additionally, we are also working with Abbeycroft Leisure to deliver the active mums antenatal care programme, a 12-week rolling programme, offering education on smoking and its effect on pregnancy, mental health support, physical activity and lifestyle advice. Participating has a big impact on the wider health and wellbeing of pregnant women and people and their babies.

While it has been a whirlwind first few months as CEO, I have found that there are parts to being a leader that come with a great sense of pride. I recently had the pleasure of visiting teams at Newmarket Community Hospital, a site we will soon be redeveloping to bring services closer to those living in the west of the region. I also had the opportunity to learn more about our inspiring community midwifery teams and the community paediatric teams, who deliver a wide range of services to children across Suffolk.

Another highlight was signing more than 200 long service certificates for colleagues who have served 20 or more years in the NHS. Their loyalty and commitment to the NHS and our communities is truly humbling. Of these, I would like to congratulate a select few - diabetes specialist nurse, Sue Griggs, housekeeper, Sue Smith, and voluntary services manager, Valerie Dutton – all on 45 years’ service. This is an incredible achievement and represents a lifetime commitment to our NHS.

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