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​New health centre to be named in memory of former MP Tessa Jowell


The new NHS health centre in Dulwich will be named in memory of the area’s former MP, Tessa Jowell, following the outcome of a public vote.

People in Dulwich and south Southwark were asked to vote for their favourite name from a shortlist of six, with Tessa Jowell Health Centre receiving the highest number of votes.

Tessa, who died in May 2018, campaigned for more than 20 years for a new health centre on the Dulwich Community Hospital site.

She also campaigned successfully for more cancer treatments to be made available through the NHS, during her own treatment for brain cancer.

Tessa Jowell Health Centre will open in spring 2020, with an official opening ceremony taking place later in the year.

When finished, the health centre will house a range of health and community services, including a GP surgery, mental health and children’s services, blood testing, kidney dialysis, physiotherapy and some other hospital clinics.

Commenting on the outcome of the public vote, NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chair, Dr Jonty Heaversedge, said: “The CCG is delighted to announce that the new health centre in Dulwich will be called Tessa Jowell Health Centre.

“The result of the public vote is testament to Tessa’s legacy, not just as a diligent local MP, but as a prominent health campaigner, who advocated a new health centre on the site for more than two decades.

“The decision is also a poignant reminder of the high esteem in which Tessa continues to be held by local people and is a fitting tribute to a much-loved and greatly missed public figure.”

David Mills, Tessa’s husband, said: “Tessa was deeply committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the people she represented in south east London, and a new health centre in Dulwich was a project very close to her heart.

“Our family is thrilled and very touched that the health centre is to be named in Tessa’s memory. We are enormously grateful to people in Dulwich and south Southwark for this lovely gesture.”

Tessa Jowell Health Centre was the most popular name from a shortlist which included local historical figures, such as GP and civil rights activist, Dr Harold Moody, and names that reflect the new health centre’s community and surroundings.

A psychiatric social worker before entering parliament, Tessa (1947 – 2018) represented her constituents in Dulwich between 1992 and 2015, before becoming a member of the House of Lords.
 
During her parliamentary career, she held numerous government positions, including Health Minister, and as Culture Secretary played a major role in planning and delivering the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Read more about the public vote and the development of Tessa Jowell Health Centre