Hospital's 2018 challenge to continue working more closely with GPs and social services
Closer working with GPs and social services will be one of its main challenge for a hospital's new leader as she takes over the role for the New Year.
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) bade farewell to chairman Roger Quince on December 31 after 10 years.
Taking his place is Sheila Childerhouse, who has served on various local and regional health bodies since 1984 in non-executive and chairman roles.
Most recently she served at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and Anglian Community Enterprise.
A spokesman for the hospital said she would “bring a wealth of experience to the position” but praised Mr Quince “unwavering leadership of our hospital and our people, and his true dedication to our patients and the local community”.
Stephen Dunn – chief executive of the Bury St Edmunds-based hospital, which takes patients from Thetford and the surrounding area – said: “He has championed and challenged the trust over the years, helping us to make positive changes and improvements that really put patients first.
“He has made a profound contribution to our community and our hospital.”
Mr Quince has led the busy hospital through many changes whilst in office, including negotiating and gaining Foundation Trust status in 2011, allowing the hospital more freedom and control.
More recently he has been a driving force in supporting the hospital’s digital development and the integration of NHS community health services with the hospital as part of the new West Suffolk Alliance.
It was this year too that the Care Quality Commission gave the trust an overall rating of ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ care.
Mr Quince said: “I am immensely proud of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and all it does for the l community.
“The NHS staff survey results and CQC rating in 2016 were a particular achievement and the culmination of a lot of hard work from all my colleagues.
“Having recently completed the integration of the hospital with community services in West Suffolk, our trust is working ever closer with GPs and social services, with the intention of offering a streamlined and joined-up service for all our patients at each stage of their healthcare.
“It is this new challenge which I think the next chair will really get her teeth into.”
As a tribute to Mr Quince, its new administration and sterile services block be named Quince House.
Of Mrs Childerhouse, he said: “With Sheila’s wide range of NHS experience, I know that she will be exceptionally well-placed to help carry the trust forward, and to help it meet the challenges ahead.”