The new-look stroke unit at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been formally opened following a 10-week refurbishment programme.
Former patients, senior staff, governors and charity officials attended the ceremony on yesterday, where the ribbon was cut by North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham.
Sir Henry said: “It gives me a huge amount of pride and sense of privilege to open the Stroke Unit.
“This is an impressive facility and the refurbishment has been done to a high standard.
“I would like to thank the staff for their commitment and passion. They and the patients they treat deserve the best.”
The revamped ward now has a reception area and two meeting rooms, which are intended to offer greater privacy for patients and their families.
It also has colour-coded bays, which are intended to help reduce disorientation, symbols on signs to help people who are unable to read written notices following a stroke and communications advice for staff, patients and families.
The measures are intended particularly to help patients who have aphasia, which can cause difficulties with speaking, writing, understanding speech and reading, following a stroke.
The ward will also be decorated with pictures by stroke survivors who attend an art group run by the Stroke Association, which officials hope will give hope to patients.
Representatives of the Stroke Association and the Friends of the Stroke Unit group were both at the opening ceremony.
Hospital chief executive Dorothy Hosein paid tribute to both organisations for their support.
She said: “One of the things which come through time and time again is that this is a community hospital and how we collaborate as a community to make it better for our staff, the community and most importantly the patients.
“I am so thrilled that we have had the opportunity to create this fantastic facility for the patients and the staff who work here.
“A stroke can happen to any of us at any time and that is why it is important that the consultants, nurses and therapists are so passionate.”