23rd Oct, 2018

Late Coventry councillor and healthcare leader gets building in her honour

Felix Nobes 13th Jun, 2018 Updated: 13th Jun, 2018

A LATE councillor and major driver in health and social care in Coventry has had a university building named in her honour.

Alison Gingell was at the forefront of healthcare for more than 40 years and campaigned tirelessly on issues that promoted the rights and health of women and children.

She died of motor neurone disease in April 2016, aged 65.

Her work has now inspired Coventry University to name its Science and Health Building in her honour.

It was officially renamed the Alison Gingell Building at a ceremony on Monday (June 11), attended by her family and friends.

Professor Guy Daly, pro vice-chancellor for health and life sciences at the university, said: “Alison had an amazing passion for health and wellbeing in Coventry and was an incredible advocate for and inspiration to the people of the city and surrounding areas.

“She worked tirelessly to promote improvements in health and social care through her roles with the council and local health organisations and was a massively important leader in the city.

“She always put the needs of the people of Coventry and Warwickshire first rather than the particular interests of any organisation or individual group.”

She was the chairwoman of Coventry Primary Care Trust and then the combined Coventry and Warwickshire Primary Care Trust from 2002 until 2013.

She achieved major improvements in healthcare in Coventry during that period and her achievements were recognised nationally when she was made a member of the government’s department of health strategy group.

Ms Gingell served as the city council’s cabinet member for health and adult services from 2013 until shortly before her death and led the authority’s campaign against female genital mutilation.

Her daughter Rosa Topley said: “The naming of this building celebrates mum’s contribution to health in this city, but more than that it captures her enthusiasm for progress, for sharing of ideas and for enjoying oneself along the way.”

The building, which was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in January, is hoped to provide better educational opportunities for health professionals.

It houses a range of innovative healthcare simulation facilities, including an ambulance, hospital wards and intensive care.

Ms Gingell represented Sherbourne ward in the city from 2012 until her death and had been a city magistrate since 1979.

She also ran a Coventry shop called Woman at Large for more than 25 years.

She was the first person in her family to go to university.

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