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New £12m hospital accommodation blocks are officially opened

PUBLISHED: 11:58 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:12 28 June 2019

Left to right: chief executive Stephen Dunn, 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 Picture: WSFT

Left to right: chief executive Stephen Dunn, 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 Picture: WSFT

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Three new accommodation blocks at West Suffolk Hospital have been officially opened after a £12million scheme was completed.

Jo Churchill MP officially opening the new accommodation blocks at the West Suffolk Hospital Picture: WSFTJo Churchill MP officially opening the new accommodation blocks at the West Suffolk Hospital Picture: WSFT

The three five-storey buildings provide 160 en-suite bedrooms complete with communal kitchen and living areas and have replaced the previous 40-year-old hospital residences.

The Bury St Edmunds hospital welcomed staff, guests and Jo Churchill MP to the official opening and naming ceremony on Thursday.

Stephen Dunn, chief executive at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (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.

One of the new £12m accommodation blocks at West Suffolk Hospital Picture: WSFTOne of the new £12m accommodation blocks at West Suffolk Hospital Picture: WSFT

"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.

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"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."

WSFT said 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

Mr Beeton has worked in the NHS for 41 years, and manages the radiology, CT, MRI, ultrasound and endoscopy departments at WSFT. He joined the trust in 1983 on an 18-month fixed term contract, met his future wife Carol, and stayed permanently.

- Jan Bloomfield, director of workforce and communications

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.

- Dr John Clark, clinical lead in diabetes and endocrinology and the director of the University of Cambridge graduate course in medicine

Dr Clark joined the trust as a consultant physician in 1992. He was key to the creation of the multidisciplinary diabetes centre at West Suffolk Hospital, bringing his project to fruition with the support of his colleagues and a fundraising drive from the local community.

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