Bury St Edmunds: Lady Elsie Robson to open £240k breast care unit

Lady Elsie Robson talking to Ann Hills, superintendent radiographer, on a previous visit to West Suf

Lady Elsie Robson talking to Ann Hills, superintendent radiographer, on a previous visit to West Suffolk Hospital. - Credit: Archant

Lady Elsie Robson, wife of football legend Sir Bobby Robson, is to open a new £240,000 imaging and breast care unit named in her honour.

The integrated ‘Lady Elsie Robson Unit’ will officially open this Thursday at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

Lady Elsie is in Suffolk that day to attend Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Ball along with her sons, Mark and Paul, as part of the current online fundraising auction.

West Suffolk Hospital is a beneficiary of the campaign, which is aiming to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds and concludes this Sunday at 7pm.

The new-look breast care department which has brought assessment, imaging and diagnostic services into one place, will be more convenient for patients, the first of which began using the facility in August.

It has been designed to improve the experience of patients undergoing investigations for cancer and was funded with a generous legacy left to the Friends of West Suffolk Hospital.

During her visit, Lady Elsie will meet members of staff and tour the unit before unveiling a specially commissioned piece of glass artwork, taken from an original painting by local artist Caroline Blake.

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Andrea Pryor, clinical services manager for breast care, said: “We are delighted that Lady Elsie has agreed to open the new unit, which is allowing us to offer a more comfortable, convenient service that provides greater levels of privacy for patients.

“We would like to reiterate our thanks to both the Friends of West Suffolk Hospital, whose generosity made this project possible, to Gina Long, the founder of Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Campaign who originally approached Lady Elsie, and to the Robson family for their support.”

Friends chairman Grant Greetham added: “This is what the Friends are all about – assisting with projects for the hospital that might not necessarily get funded. We are delighted with the contribution that we have been able to make and the difference it will make to the patients’ experience.”

Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Campaign is raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and West Suffolk and Ipswich hospitals.

In addition to Thursday night’s glittering charity ball, a two-week online auction began on October 10 offering a fantastic array of prizes donated by the sporting and celebrity worlds, local businesses and individuals.