STAFF, locals and friends of Bridgwater Hospital had a chance to see the new hospital premises before it starts to receive patients on April 30.

The £33 million Bridgwater Community Hospital, just off Bower Lane, held an open day last Saturday for people to have a look around.

Victoria Eld, head of communications for Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “For the open day they made up the beds and the artwork is up.

“We have got photos and artwork from Bridgwater College – the students have got some great work.

“A sculpture has installed artwork for the central courtyard. In the centre of this courtyard is a magnificent metal sculpture with stained glass in it.”

League of Friends of Bridgwater Hospital members got to have a tour of the new building before the open day and they were hugely impressed by what was on offer.

Mary Porter, a member of the League of Friends of Bridgwater Hospital, told the Mercury: “The new hospital is absolutely brilliant.

“Everything is so modern and clean – it’s like a totally reformed world to walk into.

“All our members were taken around by matron. We just couldn’t wait to get there. We wanted to see every department.

“There’s quite a bit of work to do on the hospital but it’s nearly there.”

The League of Friends raised £66,000 to purchase some equipment for the new hospital, such as televisions for every bed in the place which will be free for the patients to use.

Ms Porter said: “The next thing we are looking at buying is a patio for a lovely balcony or veranda so patients can sit out there.”

Staff also got a chance to have a look around the building before the open day and they too were impressed.

Ms Eld said: “The staff were very excited – there was a real buzz about them.

“The porter did say he will need to start eating twice as many biscuits to get around though.

“The old hospital is quite a bit more compact in comparison. I don’t think he’s that worried ... he’s just using it as an opportunity to get more biscuits.”