A generous legacy given to the West Suffolk Hospital more than 70 years ago was remembered last week at a renaming ceremony at the Hospital’s education centre.
In 1950 Robert Drummond, a local farmer from Coney Weston, left £11,000 to West Suffolk Hospital.
This generous bequest was used to build a social and sports centre named Drummond Hall on the old Hospital Road site in 1956, for staff to use and enjoy.
When the new hospital in Hardwick Lane was opened in 1973, the Drummond name came with it with the development of a new Drummond Sports and Social Centre on the site.
The West Suffolk Hospital started the process of becoming a specialist training centre for doctors from the University of Cambridge, developing its now flourishing Cambridge Graduate Course.
Education facilities were needed to train the budding health professionals, so a fully-functioning Education Centre for staff of all disciplines was built on the social centre’s foundations in 2001 – but in this process the Drummond name was lost.
Stephen Dunn, chief executive of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We thought it would be highly appropriate to restore the Drummond name and heritage to our site, and rename our well-loved and well-used education building the Drummond Education Centre.
“It celebrates the original benefactor and acknowledges his generous act of philanthropy. Good staff health and wellbeing is really important to us at West Suffolk and is one of our key principles, so it was quite visionary of Mr Drummond to acknowledge that so many years ago.”
The Trust offers resources for learning in the newly-renamed Drummond Education Centre, to ensure clinical training is available to upskill, train and give staff access to up-to-date research. Staff can put their new skills into action in the Siklos Centre for Clinical Skills and Simulation, where responsive dummies allow for real-life scenario training and practice.