PATIENTS at a community hospital are benefiting from new facilities and services, thanks to an extensive development project.

Victoria Community Hospital in Wimborne now boasts a brightly coloured, refurbished Hanham Ward as well as a day centre, dining room, rehabilitation room and assessment kitchen.

The new facilities mean patients can enjoy activities such as arts and crafts during the day, instead of remaining in bed on the ward, and can be properly assessed as to how they will cope at home before being discharged.

Friends of Victoria Hospital raised £230,000, with the help of the Wimborne community, which funded half the six-month development, which also includes new physiotherapy equipment.

Treasurer Peter Cadogan said: “There were two wards that were duplicating what they were doing.

“It was more logical to meld them into one organisationally.

“Modern thinking is that patients in hospital should not lie around in bed, but should try to imitate their domestic routines.

“So, they’ve created night areas, where they sleep, and day areas, where they do therapy and arts and crafts, so the patients are much better ready to go home.”

Friends of Victoria Hospital trustee Rae Cotton added: “There’s a new area where they are able to do exercises and physiotherapy.”

The design features bright splashes of colour, which Peter said enabled patients to find their bearings around the hospital.

Victoria Community Hospital looks after patients who have been discharged from acute hospitals following treatment, but are not yet ready to go home, as well as offering day surgery and recovery.