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West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to welcome back Nicola Cottington as chief operating officer

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A Suffolk NHS trust is to welcome back a former member of staff to its top team.

Nicola Cottington has previously worked at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust as associate director of operations – medicine, but from Monday will return as chief operating officer.

The trust runs West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket Community Hospital.

Nicola Cottington, who starts as chief operating officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust on Monday
Nicola Cottington, who starts as chief operating officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust on Monday

Nicola is currently deputy chief operating officer at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Norfolk, where she leads a range of services.

She said: "I’m thrilled to be returning to West Suffolk and joining the trust board. I’m hugely excited about what lies ahead but understand the challenges we face and the responsibility of the role.

"There is much to do but I truly believe West Suffolk is a fantastic organisation, focused on providing the best care for our patients.

"I look forward to working with staff, patients and our community to improve our services.

"Supporting the trust as we emerge from the pandemic and treating patients as quickly as possible will be a central focus of my role."

She has worked in senior operational roles for 14 years and believes "it is everyone’s business" to promote and create an inclusive environment for all.

Craig Black, West Suffolk interim chief executive, said: "We are delighted to appoint Nicola Cottington as our chief operating officer.

"She is well known at the trust and has a really positive track record in delivering compassionate leadership and change that benefits staff and patients alike.

"She will bring stability to the board as we continue to navigate through the impact of the pandemic and I’ve no doubt will achieve success for the trust and the local health and social care system."

Nicola will replace Helen Beck, who is retiring from the trust after eight years in post, first as deputy chief operating officer and chief operating officer from 2018.

Helen and Nicola will have a month’s handover to support Nicola’s transition to the role.

Craig added: "On behalf of the trust board I would like to thank Helen for her dedication, leadership and support over the years.

"She is committed to the organisation and has worked tirelessly for the benefit of our patients and staff.

"We wish Helen the very best for her retirement."

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