The chief executive of the West Suffolk Hospital is stepping down

Dr Stephen Dunn has stepped down chief executive after seven years at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

It follows a rapid review that had been ordered by the government into why staff were fingerprinted, and samples of handwriting were taken when a whistle-blower raised concerns. 18 months later that review still hasn’t been published.

Susan Warby died five weeks after a bowel operation carried out at WSH in August 2018. An anonymous letter sent to the family raised concerns over what happened during the procedure.

The departure of Dr Dunn follows on from two other senior members of staff, medical director Nick Jenkins and chief operating officer Helen Beck, who both stepped down in April due to personal reasons and retirement.

In an email, to staff, Dr Dunn said “I have been thinking about my position for some time but felt it was my duty to our amazing staff to lead the Trust through one of the most difficult times that it had ever faced”.

“West Suffolk is a brilliant place to work and has wonderful, committed staff. I have loved working here, but it is now the right time – after seven years and as we look towards a new hospital – to hand over the reins to ensure we maintain momentum on the journey of improvement”.

Trust chair Sheila Childerhouse said: “Steve has led the organisation with passion and dedication. Together we have seen many successes, including securing the funding for our new hospital building and the integration of community services within the Trust. He has also helped us through more turbulent times recently, including navigating through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We thank him for his commitment and leadership over the last seven years.”

Craig Black, the deputy chief executive, will be taking on the role of interim chief executive.

The review is due to be published in October.