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West Suffolk Hospital boss Steve Dunn with his monthly update for readers

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We may have had to wait a little longer than normal but summer has finally arrived in Suffolk. I’m always in awe of how sunshine and warmth can improve people’s moods and outlooks and after the very difficult year and a bit we have all been through, this is very welcome.

While a trip abroad might not be on the cards for the majority of us this year, it gives us all the perfect opportunity to explore the fields, forests and beaches of Suffolk and other counties a little closer to home.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that we’re very lucky to live so close to so many beautiful places and things to do.

Steve Dunn
Steve Dunn

Of course, with more and more people venturing out, there are more opportunities for people to get injured and hurt. As a result, we always tend to see a rise in attendances to our emergency department. While we are always here to look after you and tend to your injuries – please remember to stay safe and look after each other. If you’re not sure if you should be attending hospital, please telephone 111 or visit the NHS 111 website for further advice.

Life seems a lot more ‘normal’ now than it has for a very long time. The reason we are now able to meet family and friends for a pint down the local pub garden or have a kick about in the park with our mates is because you made sacrifices over the last 15 months, so thank you. Likewise, we must thank our brilliant police force and local councils, too; who ensure that events we can now attend are safe and secure. Thank you to all of you for playing your part.

I think it’s important to acknowledge that while the pandemic has hit every single one of us at the trust very hard, we have still continued to offer support and care to our patients within our hospitals as well as within the community. For example, our fracture department recently claimed the top rank out of all UK hospitals in regard to assessing patients with a hip fracture – a remarkable achievement for the team. As well as this, our stroke service has been top A rated for the 11th consecutive quarter on a national audit. Even when met with a worldwide pandemic, we still tried our very best to continue to offer the services crucial to west Suffolk residents.

Linda Potts is celebrating 50 years' service with the NHS
Linda Potts is celebrating 50 years' service with the NHS

I also want to extend my congratulations to one of our very talented nurses, Linda Potts. I recently went to visit her while she was working at Glastonbury Court to thank her for working in the NHS for a massive 50 years, 49 of those at the trust! Being able to chat to Linda was an absolute honour and to hear how she has seen so many changes in medicine and nursing throughout the last five decades was incredible. Thank you, Linda, for all you’ve done for the thousands of people you’ve helped over the years!

Finally, I want to wish you all a very happy summer. I know we have been waiting so long to get back to a life that seems familiar and we’re hopefully edging closer to that every day. But please, remember that the pandemic is far from over and sadly coronavirus is still out there and can have devastating consequences for many. Look after each other and stay safe.

- Steve Dunn is CEO of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

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