The first patients have been moved into the new wards at Hereford County Hospital in an historic moves which signals the end of the 1940s hutted wards.

Volunteers and staff members cleaned, stocked cupboards, moved equipment and finally patients onto the new wards just in time for Christmas.

“This is the best Christmas present we could have asked for,” said Jane Ives, the managing director at the Trust.

“Work began on the new ward block nearly two years ago and we’re over the moon that we are now caring for patients in the state-of-the-art facility.”

Despite a couple of false starts this year when the wards came close to opening, the first patients were moved onto the wards in a carefully implemented plan without issue yesterday (Weds, Dec 22) and today.

The new wards offer modern facilities which will be used for looking after elderly and frail patients.

The new block includes a new same day emergency care facility for frail patients so we can assess and discharge patients on the same day. It means patients can have the same care they would have received in hospital in the familiar surroundings of their home delivered by our community teams.

“This has taken a huge effort and I’d like to thank colleagues who have worked resolutely over a long period to make this happen,” added Jane.

Two of the wards will replace the pair of aging hutted wards that were built in the 1940s, and the third ward in the new block will provide an additional ward to meet the needs of our aging population.

The three news wards have been named after local hills in Herefordshire – Ashgrove, Garway and Dinmore.