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Breast unit re-named in memory of medical director

15 July 2020

Health Care

The breast unit at Southend Hospital has been re-named in memory of its former medical director.

Neil Rothnie has been honoured at the location where he spent many years as a consultant breast surgeon - with the building that he helped establish and played such a key role in, now named after him.

The breast unit will now be known as The Neil Rothnie breast unit, featuring a plaque with the former medical director's name unveiled by his family during a short, private, socially-distanced ceremony today (Wednesday 15 July) in his memory. Neil passed away suddenly at the end of March this year.

Neil's family said: "Southend Hospital, and the breast unit in particular, was such an important part of Neil's life. He spent so many happy years there, helping people and doing what he loved. We are so proud that the breast unit is being renamed The Neil Rothnie breast unit in his honour, on what would have been his 63rd birthday. The whole family are extremely touched by such a wonderful gesture."

Neil was a much-loved colleague and respected surgeon who established Southend's specialist breast unit, serving as the hospital's medical director since December 2012.

Clare Panniker, CEO of Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, and Southend Hospital's managing director Yvonne Blucher, were also at the small event which honoured the life and career of the man who worked at Southend Hospital for over 25 years.

Clare said: "Neil's absolute priority was his patients. As a clinician he provided individual, compassionate care and, as medical director, he championed the highest quality of care for patients and the best training opportunities for doctors. Neil always had Southend in his heart and now, thanks to this building bearing his name, he'll always be at the heart of Southend Hospital."

Yvonne said: "Neil's sudden death was a huge shock to us all. He is much missed, but will never be forgotten by those who worked alongside him, or those patients whose lives he changed for the better, of which there were many.

"Each time any of us walk past or through the doors of the breast unit we will be forever reminded of Neil - his warmth, generosity and compassion."