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West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive, Dr Stephen Dunn, is awarded a CBE in New Year Honours

The chief executive of the outstanding rated West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) has been awarded a CBE for services to health and patient safety in the prestigious Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Dr Stephen Dunn, who has been at the helm of the Trust for four years and was recently rated at eighth in the Health Service Journal’s top NHS chief executives, said the award was representative of the efforts of those across the NHS.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this recognition but I accept it on behalf of all staff working with compassion and commitment across the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Stephen Dunn, Chief Executive of West Suffolk Hospital
Dr Stephen Dunn, Chief Executive of West Suffolk Hospital

"It is their effort and hard work that should really be honoured and I salute them for the outstanding care they provide to the west Suffolk community each and every day.”

Stephen’s extensive experience of the NHS started with a decade of supporting and developing national policy at the Department of Health.

There he contributed to the Wanless Review, the establishment of foundation trusts, and the White Paper ‘Our health, our care, our say’, before turning his skills to a director of provider development and strategy role with NHS East of England.

In 2013 he became a national director at the Trust Development Authority, overseeing 24 NHS trusts and £8 billion of healthcare spend in the south region.

He also introduced the Friends and Family test (FFT) into the NHS, which was endorsed by the then Prime Minister for wider roll out and remains in place across the country today as a way of getting timely feedback from patients about the services they experience.

Upon joining WSFT, Stephen had a clear ambition and vision to deliver the best quality and safest care for the local community. He has consistently driven a culture of openness, innovation and supportive leadership in order to help the Trust achieve the best results possible.

And that hard work and focus has culminated in a particularly impressive year for the global digital exemplar Trust; it achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission in its latest inspection – one of a handful of general hospitals in England to hold the accolade – and scored the highest comparable marks in the county for employees recommending the organisation for work or care in the latest NHS staff survey.

An economist with three published works to his name, Stephen, who lives in Norton in Suffolk, holds a PhD in economics from the University of Leeds and is a visiting professor at the University of the West of England.

He has been awarded a prestigious K. William Kapp prize from one of Europe’s largest economics associations, and is considered an international authority on the economics of John Kenneth Galbraith.

The list of Honours recognises outstanding achievements, personal bravery and services to the UK and British Overseas Territories. Stephen will be invited to a Royal residence to receive his honour – Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) – in 2019.