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Hospital Welcomes members of the Czech Trade Union

16 May 2005

Members of The Czech Trade Union will be visiting West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds on Tuesday May 24 as part of a fact-finding mission.

The visit has been arranged by public service union UNISON in the eastern after the Czech Trade Union expressed an interest in visiting a busy district general hospital in the UK region. The eastern region branch of UNISON has for many years had a special relationship with the Czech Trade Union that represents health and social care workers in the Czech Republic.

Seven members of the Czech Trade Union will have a tour of the hospital, before meeting the Trustıs Chief Executive Chris Bown, Assistant Director of Nursing Jayne Holmes, and Linda Johnston, Patient Administration System Project Manager.

The union members visiting the hospital include the Vice President of the Union Jana Dvorakova, a former nurse; International Trade Officer and translator Jana Vesela; Iva Merhautova, Director of Student's Health Institute at Prague; Eva Beranova, Head Nurse of Home for the Elderly at Zdirec; Dasa Skoumalova, Head Nurse of Home for the Elderly in Ostrava; Tomas Havlasek, Director of Home for the Mentally Handicapped at Tavikovice; and Oldrich Stepanek, Director of Home for the Mentally Handicapped at Kvasiny.

Jenni Saunders, Chair of the Eastern Regional Health Committee of UNISON, said: "We were requested to make a visit to Prague a couple of years ago to share the education and training for professional staff and the ways of working within the NHS.  We were surprised at the number of similarities, and how we can all learn from each other within the European Union.

"This is now an opportunity for the Czech delegation to come here and see at first hand and share some of the good practices that have been developed in the Eastern region.

"This visit could not have been achieved without the generous co-operation of West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust who are a major part of this programme.

"Our Czech colleagues are all very much looking forward to gaining from the opportunity that is being provided by UNISON in collaboration with this Trust and the other Trusts they are visiting, Ipswich PCT, Colchester PCT, South Essex Partnership NHS Trust."

Chief Executive Chris Bown said: "We are delighted that colleagues from Prague are able to come and see the excellent facilities that West Suffolk Hospital provides to the local community.

"More than 200,000 patients come through the hospital in a year and we hope to provide members of the Czech Trade Union with a good understanding on how our services operate."



West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust