‘We’re delighted his legacy continues’: Education centre at hospital is renamed

Members of the Drummond family celebrate the renaming of the education centre at West Suffolk Hospit

Members of the Drummond family celebrate the renaming of the education centre at West Suffolk Hospital Picture: WEST SUFFOLK HOSPITAL - Credit: Archant

A generous legacy of £11,000 left to West Suffolk Hospital more than 70 years ago has been remembered at a renaming ceremony of an education centre at the site.

Robert Drummond, a local farmer from Coney Weston, left the money to the Bury St Edmunds hospital in 1950.

The generous bequest was used to build a social and sports centre named Drummond Hall for staff on the old Hospital Road site in 1956.

When the new hospital in Hardwick Lane was opened in 1973, the Drummond name came with it as a new Drummond Sports and Social Centre was built at the site.

When West Suffolk Hospital started the process of becoming a specialist training centre for doctors from the University of Cambridge, education facilities were needed to train the budding health professionals.

This led to a fully-functioning education centre for staff of all disciplines being built on the social centre’s foundations in 2001 – but in this process the Drummond name was lost.

Last week, a ceremony marked the newly-named Drummond Education Centre to celebrate the original benefactor.

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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.”

Ian Drummond, great nephew of Robert Drummond, was one of the many Drummond family members who attended the official renaming last Friday, September 7.

He said: “My great uncle Bob was really a civic-minded man, and was a member of district councils and the West Suffolk County Council, as it was then.

“He left his money for the good of West Suffolk Hospital and its staff, which we think is fantastic.

“We’re all really committed to the idea of developing future generations of skilled people to deliver better healthcare, so what could be better than having the education centre named after our family and what he did?

“We’re all immensely proud of this and delighted his legacy continues.”

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