Big day for hospital's new centre

SUFFOLK'S first female GP Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was Kesgrave lad Ben Whittaker's great-great-great-grandad's cousin.Today, as a fifth generation descendant, 14-year-old Ben is involved with Ipswich Hospital's £26million treatment centre, named in Garrett Anderson's memory.

SUFFOLK'S first female GP Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was Kesgrave lad Ben Whittaker's great-great-great-grandad's cousin.

Today, as a fifth generation descendant, 14-year-old Ben is involved with Ipswich Hospital's £26million treatment centre, named in Garrett Anderson's memory.

A topping out ceremony was held on the building's roof yesterday where Ben, a Kesgrave High School student, helped lay the last brick.

He was joined by Suffolk Primary Care Trust's Alistair McWhirter, hospital chairman Mike Brookes, Ipswich mayor Inga Lockington and John Young from financers Prospect Healthcare.


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Other descendants of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson were also present, including Ben's father Alan and mother Alison, who works as a paediatric team leader at the hospital.

Mr Brookes said: “This is not just a landmark for the sky of Ipswich, but a landmark which signals the reformation of the hospital.

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“We had three years of financial difficulty, last year we saw a turnaround and now this building will be a great step forward for us in terms of quality and care.

“No development like this has ever been seen at the hospital before and everyone is so excited.”

Mrs Lockington said: “It's partly thanks to the hospital I am the mayor.

“My husband Tim, who is a consultant, was given a job here 12 years ago and that's what brought me to Ipswich.”

The building has been built by Prospect Healthcare and will be leased back by the hospital over a number of years.

The Garrett Anderson Centre includes 6,000 tonnes of concrete, 6km of electrical cabling and 550 tonnes of structural steelwork.

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