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Praise for Southend University Hospital from visiting minister

05 September 2013

Health Care

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter heaped praise on Southend University Hospital when he visited for the second time this summer.

Dr Poulter, an NHS doctor who specialises in obstetrics and gynaecology, was keen to see the hospital's newly-created early pregnancy unit having seen building work taking place during his previous visit in July.

The new facility provides a discreet and spacious environment where women experiencing pregnancy problems can be scanned, assessed and, where necessary, receive counselling in privacy.

Before cutting the ribbon to declare the unit officially open, Dr Poulter paid tribute to the caring and committed staff who had worked so hard to create a supportive and welcoming environment. The counselling room has been named after nurse, Marion Bull, who sadly died last year and whose family has donated £1,400 to provide additional comforts and personal touches in her memory. The gynaecological assessment room retains the name of highly respected consultant Dr Philip Hagan, who died in 2008.

Dr Poulter said: "I was amazed to see how quickly the unit had got up and running since my previous visit, which is largely due to the obvious passion and commitment of the excellent team of staff there."


Dr Poulter, who was joined on the visit by Southend West MP David Amess and Southend clinical commissioning group (CCG) clinical chief officer Paul Husselbee, then paid an impromptu call on Elizabeth Loury  oncology ward, which has recently undergone a £140k refurbishment to provide bright and cheerful surroundings for cancer patients.

Escorted throughout by chief executive Jacqueline Totterdell and chairman Alan Tobias, Dr Poulter completed his visit at the acute stroke unit where he met consultants Drs Paul Guyler and Devesh Sinha before touring the unit to speak to patients.

Dr Poulter was interested to hear about a number of recent developments in the service which have put it in the finals of two prestigious national awards (Health Service JournalandE-Health Insider).

He said: "I have been extremely impressed by everything I have seen on my two visits to Southend Hospital.

"There is a really positive and warm atmosphere and staff are clearly highly committed to patient care."


With pix:

1.Dr Poulter (second right) opens early pregnancy unit; l to r matron Angela Cohen;  Cheryl Guinea, acting deputy manager, Eastwood ward; chairman Alan Tobias; MP David Amess and Colleen Begg, head of midwifery.   

2. Dr Poulter (left) with MP David Amess and hospital chief executive Jacqueline Totterdell.

3. Dr Poulter (centre) with stroke consultants Dr Devesh Sinha and Dr Paul Guyler.