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Suffolk staff crowned team of the year

​Staff at a low secure mental health unit who work closely together to make sure patients receive the highest standards of care have been awarded a sought-after accolade by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) in recognition of their dedication.

Staff from Foxhall House, which is based at St Clement’s Hospital in Ipswich, were presented with the “team of the year” prize during the Trust’s Putting People First Awards, presented at Sprowston Manor on Thursday 5 May. It comes after they turned round the fortunes of the unit to help it become one of the Trust’s best-performing while making sure patients and carers are involved in every aspect of care.

The team received one of nine staff-nominated accolades during the evening. In addition and for the first time, two Public Choice awards were also presented after service users and carers were invited to vote for their mental health heroes and say thank you publicly for the outstanding care they have received.

Foxhall House is a low secure ward which cares for men with a history of crime or violence who also have mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder, aggression, psychosis or severe depression.

Its nomination was one of almost 200 received in the countdown to the ceremony, and came from Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Sohail Abrar, who said the ward had received some excellent feedback after driving through a range of improvements. This includes making sure service users are included in risk assessments and kept fully involved in discussions and organising regular meetings with carers and patients so that they can feed back their views for further improving care.

Dr Abrar added: “When I walk in the front door, I don’t feel I’ve come to work – it’s more of a fun place. The staff members trust in each other’s abilities and want to their best for the welfare of patients. They take pride in what they do. Another thing I really like is everybody is approachable, everybody is responsible and everybody is willing to work.

“Foxhall House is one of the best wards I have worked in, where everybody is so helpful and welcoming that it feels like home and work becomes more of a passion rather than a job.”

Michael Scott, NSFT Chief Executive, said: “The team at Foxhall House have worked incredibly hard to deliver the highest standards of care over the past year, and truly deserve this accolade.

“The team has a shared understanding of the needs of their patients and work well together to make sure those needs are met. Our sincere congratulations go to them all.”

The awards were sponsored by media company Archant, NHS Professionals and Sprowston Manor.

To read NSFT’s special awards magazine, which gives details of all of the winners and runners-up, visit

For more information visit