Cossham Hospital opens to patients after £19 million refurbishment
Cossham Hospital has opened to its first patients after a £19 million refurbishment.
The Kingswood hospital - which was threatened with closure in 2004 - had been closed to patients for almost two years while works were carried out on the 105-year-old building.
Hundreds of people marched to save the Lodge Road hospital and now it has been restored and updated to meet the needs of modern healthcare.
It houses Bristol's first standalone midwife-led birth centre where women with straightforward pregnancies can give birth in more comfortable surroundings as well as physiotherapy and outpatient appointments, including audiology.
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Angela Gibbs, of Cadbury Heath, was among the first patients to attend an appointment in the hospital after it opened this morning.
The 50-year-old said: "When I called for an appointment I was offered the chance to go to Frenchay or come here, but this is closer.
"It's lovely, when I came through the door it looked so bright.
"My mum's disabled so she will be coming here to see her specialist as well as it will be much easier."
Ron Tippett, chairman of Cossham League of Friends was joined by Graham Kennedy chairman of the Cossham Hospital Group, formerly the Save Cossham Hospital Group to celebrate the opening. Angela Hancock, a relative of MP and businessman Handel Cossham, who bequeathed the hospital to the people of Kingswood, also attended this morning.
Mrs Hancock, of Winterbourne, said: "I am amazed that it is so nice and as good as it is. It is so nice that they have kept the original features and that it is all so light and airy. And the views must be therapeutic.
"When I first visited I couldn't wait to get home and tell all my family."
Mr Tippett, of Kingswood, said: It's marvellous. Incredible.
"I never really thought this was going to happen."
A dialysis centre was opened in the hospital grounds in October to save people in the area making the journey to Southmead Hospital for the treatment to carry out the functions of the kidneys, and there is also x-ray, ultrasound, MRI and CT scanning at Cossham.