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Open day to recruit staff at Ipswich mental health unit

​An open day will be held later this month (15 May) in order to recruit staff to a specialist mental health unit in Ipswich.

People who drop-in at the event at the Woodlands unit on Tuesday, 15 May, either between 10am and 12noon or between 5pm and 7pm, will also have an opportunity to apply for jobs on the day.

The unit is on the site of Ipswich Hospital but is run by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), a specialist mental health trust.

Staff from its four inpatient teams, comprising two adult acute wards (Avocet Ward and Poppy Ward), an older persons' ward (Willows Ward) and a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU – Lark Ward) will share information about services.

Tara Brown, Modern Matron at Woodlands, said it would be the unit's first open day.

"It will give people a chance to visit one of the wards and to meet staff from all the inpatient teams that provide acute mental health services at Woodlands," she said. "We have vacancies on the unit for qualified nurses and also for clinical support workers, and the day is an opportunity to learn more about these vacancies.

"The Trust has experienced challenges over the last few years but there is a strong motivation from all staff to work towards improvements and to make sure we are providing the best care we can.

"I am proud to work with all the teams in East Suffolk, including those based at Woodlands. Each day, I work alongside highly skilled and caring staff who are passionate about the roles they undertake. I see and hear this reflected in many of the conversations and meetings I have with service users and carers.

"This is an exciting time to work at Woodlands which is a welcoming and warm unit providing many opportunities for career development and to grow as a member of our teams."

Mrs Brown added that she has spent her entire career working in acute mental health services in East Suffolk, which she joined as a health care assistant in 1999.

Recruitment staff from NSFT will also take part on 15 May and people who drop in on the day will have a chance to complete an application form.

The Band 5 (qualified) nurse posts at Woodlands come with a recruitment premium of £3,000. One half of this amount is paid to the successful candidate on appointment and the second half after a six-month probation period has been successfully completed.

In addition to recruitment premiums, a relocation package of up to £5,000 is available and agreed on an individual basis.

People attending the open day are being advised that they will have to pay to park in visitor parking spaces at Ipswich Hospital.

The Woodlands unit will also be recruiting staff at Ipswich Corn Exchange on Thursday 7 June, 11am to 7pm, when NSFT is holding a recruitment event for mental health vacancies it has throughout East Suffolk.

These include vacancies in the district's three Integrated Delivery Teams (IDTs), its Learning Disabilities (LD) Intensive Support Team and its inpatient LD team at Walker Close, Ipswich.

* Anyone who is interested in attending the open day or working on Woodlands but who is unable to attend on 15 May is asked to contact Tara Brown for further information. Tel 01473 891762; email

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