Staff at Ripley hospital have praised the ‘unbelievable’ Butterley Ward facilities – a year on from its opening by royalty.
On November 2, 2010, the £2.1 million state-of the art medical facilities were officially unveiled by the Duchess of Gloucester.
It was to cap off ten years of fundraising by the hospital’s league of friends.
Ward manager of the Butterley Ward, Cate Wain says after a year in the new facilities it would be hard to imagine going back to the corrugated iron roof building it replaced.
She said: “It is fantastic, what we had before was so old fashioned.
“It wasn’t really meeting the needs of the patients.
“Now patients love it. They all comment on it when they come in. To have it on their doorstep is a real bonus for the Ripley community.”
Doreen Holmes, 79, who has volunteered at the Sandham Lane hospital for the past ten years, remembers the special day on November 2 last year well. She had the chance to meet the duchess herself.
“I was shaking like a jelly, she said. “She asked me how many volunteers we had at the hospital .
“She was lovely though, she made you very at ease.”
The previous facilities saw 20 ward patients sharing two toilets.
It did not have a mixed sex rest room and had a single small staff office.
Now there are 12 individual toilets, walk-in bathrooms and wet rooms, a mixed sex day-room, televisions by individual beds and 12 private rooms.
Gaynor Rathband, senior housekeeper at the hospital, said standard of care and patents’ mood has improved vastly in the past year.
She said: “Patients can interact a bit more now, it’s great to see them mixing.
“People don’t want to go home sometimes - we often get comments from people saying ‘it’s like a hotel’.
The Ripley Community Hospital League of Friends contributed £1.3million to the building of the ward. And On October 5 this year it officially unveiled a £90,000 new X-ray machine.
Chairperson Phyllis Holmes is proud of the league’s contribution to the hospital, adding that the new ward has made a ‘tremendous difference’ to patient care.
The league’s long serving treasurer, John Briggs added: “For a town like Ripley to have a facility like this is unbelievable.”
Next year will mark the Sandham Lane hospital’s centenary year.