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New digs . . . An artist's impression of the new consultation rooms planned for the Bidwill Trust Hospital. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

STAFF REPORTER

Bidwill Trust Hospital will open a new consulting room suite tomorrow.

To be known as the Kerr Wing, the 450sqm development will house two surgical practices – Aorangi Surgical Group and South Canterbury Surgeons. Nine surgeons will now be based in professional rooms at the rear of Bidwill Hospital.

Chairman Mark Hervey said the board was indebted to the E.G. and D.M. Kerr Charitable Trust which made a substantial donation to the hospital in support of the project.

Trust chairman Tim Austin said the trust was pleased to be associated with the development.

The trust was established in 1992 by his grandmother, Peggy Kerr, and the invested capital had benefited a wide range of South Canterbury activities.

“In our discussions with the Bidwill Trust Board it was evident that the new consulting rooms would not only benefit the hospital but also South Canterbury health services in general by providing modern consulting facilities for surgeons,” Mr Austin said.

That benefit met the aims of the Kerr Trust and was also appropriate, given the close association of the Kerr family with Bidwill Hospital.

Mrs Kerr’s husband, E.G. Kerr, was a director of the Bidwill board in the 1960s and 1970s, and her father, Dr W.H. Unwin, one of Timaru’s most respected surgeons, was a foundation shareholder and inaugural director of what became known as Bidwill Hospital.

Mr Austin said the contribution towards the Bidwill development took to more than $350,000 the many grants the Kerr Trust had made to the local community over the last 26 years.

The official opening of the Kerr Wing will be attended by more than 70 invited guests and a plaque will be unveiled detailing the trust’s history and involvement in South Canterbury.