THE legacy of Dorset businessman Robert White is being celebrated on what would have been the entrepreneur's 68th birthday - including the creation of a cancer centre in Dorchester.

Millionaire Robert, founder of internationally-recognised Robert White Photographic, lost his life to neuroendocrine tumours at the age of 62.

Upon his death he donated £3.5 million to benefit patients across Dorset.

On May 11, on what would have been Robert's birthday, University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) celebrated his legacy.

Dr Mike Bayne, consultant oncologist at UHD said: "Five years ago I had the enormous privilege of treating Robert White for metastatic neuroendocrine cancer.

"Robert was a strong personality and left a powerful mark on all who met him.

"Before he died he took the exceptional step of leaving most of his considerable assets to Poole Hospital as a legacy that has enabled us to set up the Robert White Legacy Fund.

"With Robert’s legacy we have created the Robert White Cancer Centre in Dorchester enabling for the first time delivery of radiotherapy closer to the homes of those in the west of the county.

"We have supported the appointment of doctors and nurses to a series of posts that have enhanced research and treatment for patients in Dorset and the wider Wessex region.

"We have introduced a number of new leading edge treatments to Dorset namely a state of the art laryngology service, brachytherapy and endoscopic ultrasound.”

Robert lived in Poole.

Most recently Robert’s legacy has supported the purchase of surface guided radiotherapy equipment in the radiotherapy department.

David Frost, head of therapy radiography at UHD, said: “Without this amazing legacy Poole Hospital would not have been able to purchase surface guided radiotherapy technology (SGRT) allowing University Hospitals Dorset to become one of the first radiotherapy centres in the south west to offer this facility.”

Surface guided radiotherapy is a system that tracks the patient’s position before and during radiotherapy, this helps ensure accuracy of treatment delivery and streamlines workflows.

Further developments will change practice so that patients don’t need permanent marks and can have open faced masks which will remove some of the psychological impact of having radiotherapy.

With the support of Robert’s legacy, the trust was also able to acquire a suite of products that include surface guided radiotherapy and automatic patient ID solution.

The benefit of automatic patient ID is that it improves patient safety, ensuring that the right patient gets the right treatment with the correct treatment accessories.