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Hospitals’ new head of estates

Posted onPosted on 1st Sep

The secret of success is “to believe you can accomplish anything, never shy away from hard work or starting from the ground up, and to enjoy what you do,” says Ben Widdowson, Sherwood Forests Hospitals new Head of Estates and Facilities.

Ben, who is currently Deputy Head of Estates and Facilities at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will take on his new role today (1 September). He will be taking over from Keith Turner, who is retiring from his post.

He began his NHS career in 2003 as an apprentice electrician at North Derbyshire Health Authority (NDHA) and qualified as an electrician four years later.

In 2008, NDHA promoted him to Estates and Facilities Officer and in 2010, he moved to Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust, where he was appointed Estates Manager.

Ben used his spare time to study his engineering degree part-time and graduated in 2013 with a BEng (Hons) Building Services Engineering – which helped him gain a position as Deputy Head of Estates and Facilities at Sherwood Forest Hospitals in the same year.

He said: “I am very honoured to have been appointed the Trust’s new Head of Estates and Facilities and am very proud of the team I am already working with, as the Deputy Head of Estates, who are delivering vital services to our hospitals. I am taking over from Keith Turner, who has done a fantastic job so I will have very big shoes to fill.

“I am committed to providing an excellent service which continues to improve and evolve the quality of our services. I am looking forward to applying my knowledge and experience of the NHS and working with our partners and clinicians.”

He said: “In many respects, I consider my role to be the head caretaker of the building and am acutely aware of how the architecture, ambience, the cleanliness and daily maintenance of our buildings can enhance patients’ experiences and recovery during their visits to the Trust.

The father-of-two young children – Daniel, aged two, and Anna, just 10 weeks old – praised the NHS for being very supportive of the career aspirations of its staff.

He added: “I started as an apprentice electrician and through the willingness to work hard, learn the ropes of my industry from the bottom up, study part-time for a degree in engineering and now an Masters in Business Administration – and the support of my lovely wife Gail, who I’ve been married to for five years – I was able to progress my career.”

Peter Wozencroft, Director of Strategic Planning and Commercial Development at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I would like to welcome Ben to his new post and look forward to working with him. My thanks and best wishes also go to Keith Turner – I wish him a long and happy retirement.”