New staff for Wells Hospital

RICHARD PARR Development of the new Wells Community Hospital has taken a major step forward with five new staff starting work this month.

RICHARD PARR

Development of the new Wells Community Hospital has taken a major step forward with five new staff starting work this month.

In the first few months of operation the hospital – which was saved from permanent closure and re-opened in September last year after a vigorous EDP-backed public campaign – was supported by staff on secondment from the Primary Care Trusts.

Now it is standing on its own feet and, from the beginning of this month has its own management company and employs its own staff.

Recent job advertisements in the EDP attracted considerable response and five permanent appointments have now been made.

Louise Bennett, who had previously been seconded to the hospital from the West Norfolk PCT, has been appointed matron. She will be assisted in her clinical duties by two part-time senior health care assistants, Kate Wilson and Linda Ellis.

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John Plummer joins the team as volunteer co-ordinator. His role will involve developing opportunities for volunteers to help at the hospital in a wide range of tasks, including administration and reception, grounds and maintenance, patients visits, driving and fund-raising.

He will also be responsible for arranging training and scheduling and will take care of the official side of volunteering.

Mr Plummer will be working closely with Norfolk Volunteer Service staff who have already been very helpful in guiding the hospital team.

Jan Cassidy has joined the team as development director. Coming to the post from a PCT background with hands on experience of commissioning services, she will be focusing on building up good working partnerships with all of the stakeholders in the hospital's future.

Next weekend, Alex Watson, aged 67, will be running the London Marathon raising money for the hospital.

This will be Alex's fourth marathon in 10 years.

He has to complete the capital run to qualify for a place in the South African Comrades Race in June, covering a distance of 87 kilometres.

People can sponsor Alex on-line by visiting the hospital website www.wellshospital.org.uk or by signing one of the forms which can be found in pubs, hotels, shops and post offices in the Wells area.