New name for critical care centre

A NEW name has finally been chosen for the £24million critical care centre at Ipswich Hospital.Named after England's first ever female doctor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who was brought up in Suffolk, the name is even more special because one of her descendants still works there – and is even working on the new project.

A NEW name has finally been chosen for the £24million critical care centre at Ipswich Hospital.

Named after England's first ever female doctor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who was brought up in Suffolk, the name is even more special because one of her descendants still works there – and is even working on the new project.

Alison Whittaker is a children's nurse and is involved in the day centre part of the project, saying what things are needed in her area.

She said she thought it was great that the name had been chosen.


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She said: "I was really pleased that she was being recognised as she did so much for women.

"There is also another family link with the Garrett Works in Leiston so it is a real local link."

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Hew Stevenson from Stowupland is Dr Garrett Anderson's great great nephew.

He said: "We are all very proud of her.

"It is a terrific honour and I am terribly proud about it.

"It is such a shame to drive past the hospital in London and it is the saddest thing to see it all boarded up."

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson is Alison's great, great grandfather's cousin on her mother's side and after a lengthy battle to become a doctor, she then took up politics and became the Mayor of Aldeburgh, the first female mayor of England.

But it seems like nursing and medicine ran down the family line as both Alison's father and brother are doctors.

An open competition was launched earlier this year to name the new centre which is destined to transform health care in the region.

The new centre will include a much more spacious and specially designed critical care unit, a short stay surgery ward, day surgery unit with theatres, specialist clinics and a pre-admission centre to prepare people for their operations.

Lots of people entered but it was the suggestion of Adam Croucher to call it the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson centre.

Because there is a whole hospital already named after her, it was decided to call the Ipswich development 'The Anderson Centre.'

Mr Croucher will be given gift vouchers and will also be invited to the opening ceremony of The Anderson Centre.

It is the biggest development at the hospital since it was created in the early 1970's and means that all the partner Trusts will be able to transform health care for local people by developing new 'pathways' of care for patients, both in the community and at the hospital. These new pathways will mean that more people can be treated more quickly through greater access to first class services.

Another major step towards building the new centre has been reached with the approval by the Norfolk Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority of a very detailed 'Outline Business Case'. This sets out what is planned to be included in the new centre and the many benefits it will bring to people living and working throughout East Suffolk.

A copy of this full outline business case has been lodged with Ipswich Library in Northgate Street, and is available on line at www.ipswichhospital.nhs.uk.

ELIZABETH GARRETT ANDERSON – factfile

Born in Whitechapel as one of 12 children to Newson Garrett and Louise Dunnell.

The couple moved to Aldeburgh and Mr Garrett set up Snape Maltings, earning enough money to send his daughter to boarding school.

After school she was encouraged to marry well and live the life of a lady but instead she met up with feminist Emily Davies and soon afterwards met with America's first woman doctor Elizabeth Blackwell.

She too decided to become a doctor but was turned away from medical schools so enrolled as a nursing student at Middlesex Hospital and went to classes intended for male only doctors – when she was the only one who could answer all the questions her classmates became jealous and barred her.

1865 – she passed the Society of Apothecaries exam, but after that the rules were changed forbidding further women from taking it.

1866 – established a dispensary for women in London where she taught medical courses for women and was made a visiting physician at East London Hospital.

Got a medical degree at the University of Paris after teaching herself French.

Her determination opened doors for other women and in 1876 an Act was passed in Parliament permitting women to enter all of the medical professions.

INFORMATION SOURCE – BBC History.

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