North-east’s ‘best in class’ healthcare training centre named

North-east’s ‘best in class’ healthcare training centre named

Naming in recognition of a large personal gift to the project by North-east businessman Ian Suttie and his wife Dorothy.

Naming in recognition of a large personal gift to the project by North-east businessman Ian Suttie and his wife Dorothy.

The new medical education and clinical training centre now under construction at Foresterhill will be named The Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare when it is completed next summer.

The new building is being created through the Matthew Hay Project, a partnership between the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian. In total, almost six million pounds has been contributed to the Project since the fundraising appeal began in 2006. Over one thousand gifts have been made by a wide range of individuals, charities, trusts and foundations, community groups and corporate organisations. The total being invested in this Project by the University, NHS Grampian, and benefactors is now almost £21 million. 

The Matthew Hay Project aims to ensure that people in the north of Scotland will benefit by being cared for by health professionals trained in first-class facilities, using the latest technology and teaching methods, and close to the clinical care provided in the three Foresterhill hospitals. It is expected to be a powerful recruitment tool in attracting the most talented health professionals to the North-east's health service.

The gift from Ian and Dorothy Suttie will help the project provide the most modern facilities and the latest equipment for medical teaching and multidisciplinary training of doctors and other health professionals at all stages of their careers.

The facilities and features of the new building – together with its location close to real patient care areas, its multidisciplinary ethos, acknowledged quality of teaching, and the advanced teaching technology employed – give the new centre the potential to be the finest of its kind in the UK.

Ian Suttie said: "We are delighted to support the ambitions of Professor Duncan Rice, Professor Sir Graeme Catto and many senior healthcare staff past and present. Their enthusiasm was a major reason for our contribution. 

"We believe that this medical training facility provides the infrastructure that will attract high calibre professionals to Aberdeen who are capable of making a significant contribution in a sustainable and meaningful way to the health promotion and healthcare needs of the population of the region.  Infrastructure sends a strong message to the well qualified contemplating moving to Aberdeen, that the society of Aberdeen will meet and exceed their ambitions thus providing lasting benefit to the population of the North East.  A first class facility for best-in-class professionals.

"We believe that this joint venture continues the theme, established by Matthew Hay, the pioneer of the Foresterhill complex, that prevention of disease and education should be complementary."

Professor C Duncan Rice, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen said: "This wonderful gift, for which we are extremely grateful, follows in the tradition of great Scottish philanthropists like Andrew Carnegie. It also has a particular resonance for the Foresterhill site, which from its earliest beginnings has occupied a unique place in the heart of North-east communities, and has benefited over the years from the outstanding generosity of prominent local families. The Sutties are setting a wonderful example for successful Aberdeen business leaders by putting their wealth back into so good a cause."

Principal Rice continued: "The general response to our fundraising appeal for this exciting project has been tremendous, and gives this new facility the potential to be the finest of its kind in the UK. This will deliver great benefits for this area, for our colleagues who dedicate their lives to a career in medicine and healthcare – and to all in our communities who will owe their lives and health to their knowledge and skills."

Dr David Cameron, Chairman of NHS Grampian said: "Aberdeen has long had an excellent tradition for training health professionals through its medical school.  This exciting new collaboration is the latest in a long line of joint projects between the University and the NHS and a fitting tribute to Professor Matthew Hay. Without his vision for healthcare in the North East our Foresterhill campus would not have evolved as it has into a world renowned centre.

"I have no doubt the facility will attract future generations of health professionals from around the world, providing them with skills which will benefit the health service and our patients."

Professor Sir Graeme Catto, Aberdeen graduate and President of the General Medical Council, who chairs the fundraising appeal said: "On behalf of the appeal committee – and all the patients and staff who will benefit from this exciting project - I want to thank Ian and Dorothy Suttie for their wonderful generosity. The success of our fundraising appeal has exceeded our expectations, and means that this new centre has the potential to make medical and healthcare training in Aberdeen the envy of the rest of the UK."

Designed by Edinburgh-based architects Bennetts Associates, the new building will provide the ideal modern environment to teach anatomy and clinical skills to the next generation of doctors. Additionally it will be a superb training facility, equipped with the latest technology, for the continuing professional development of healthcare workers in a variety of disciplines and at all stages of their careers. The five-storey building will also provide first-class conference and lecture facilities, a simulated ward area for the training of students and staff, an IT training suite and a café and social areas designed to encourage informal engagement between the full range of healthcare professionals, adding further value to shared training.

Construction by Mansell began in October 2007, with the building scheduled for completion in May 2009 and, following three months commissioning, to be ready for the first intake of students in September 2009.  

The project has been developed in the name of Professor Matthew Hay (1855-1932) who was the original pioneer of the Foresterhill health campus. In the 1920s he convinced city fathers of the importance of locating treatment, prevention of disease and education together on one site. Following a vigorous fundraising campaign, work began on the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1928 to be followed shortly afterwards by the maternity hospital and medical school

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