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Senior leadership changes at the Trust

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has announced that Dr Stephen Dunn is to step down from his role as chief executive. 

Trust chair Sheila Childerhouse said: “Steve has led the organisation with passion and dedication. Together we have seen many successes, including securing the funding for our new hospital building and the integration of community services within the Trust. He has also helped us through more turbulent times recently, including navigating through the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We thank him for his commitment and leadership over the last seven years.” 

Dr Stephen Dunn said: “I joined the Trust seven years ago when it was a standalone hospital. We were uncertain of our future, whether we would be merged with other local hospitals and lose essential services that local people depend on. Instead, we developed our strategy and mission to deliver the best care for our community, and began integrating community and GP services. 

“We were one of the first digital exemplar trusts and we have massively invested in our facilities and people with an upgraded emergency department, a new acute assessment unit, cardiac centre, urology unit, and staff accommodation. Most recently we have secured the guarantee of a new hospital building for the people of West Suffolk. 

“However, this last 18 months has presented operational, structural and cultural challenges within the Trust, with a challenging Care Quality Commission inspection locally and the overwhelming impact of the pandemic taking a toll on us all. I have been thinking about my position for some time but felt it was my duty to our amazing staff to lead the Trust through one of the most difficult times that it had ever faced. 

“The Trust needs to keep moving forward on its journey of improvement. So now is the right time to step down, as we emerge from this brutal pandemic and refresh our strategy for the future. For me personally, it is a time to step back and use my knowledge of the Trust and my previous experience to contribute to national policy making across the health and care sector. 

“West Suffolk is a brilliant place to work and has wonderful, committed staff. I have loved working here, but it is now the right time – after seven years and as we look towards a new hospital – to hand over the reins to ensure we maintain momentum on the journey of improvement.” 

Craig Black, our deputy chief executive, will be taking on the role of interim chief executive, and will provide stability to the Trust whilst a recruitment process for the substantive post takes place over the coming months.

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Dr Stephen Dunn, right, is to step down

Dr Stephen Dunn, right, is to step down