Decades of waiting was finally over for residents in Clitheroe on Monday as the town’s new multi-million pound hospital officially opened its doors.
Healthcare officials and civic dignitaries including Clitheroe Town Mayor Coun. Val Cooper and deputy Ribble Valley Mayor Bridget Hilton, joined “Coronation Street” actor and Valley resident Malcolm Hebden, aka Norris Cole, to unveil a plaque to celebrate the opening of the contemporary £7.8m. development.
The two-storey building, which boasts colourful and bright interiors with state-of-the-art facilities fit for 21st Century healtcare, replaces the town’s 141-year-old hospital on Chatburn Road.
Mr Jim Birrell, Interim Chief Executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to have opened this state-of-the-art hospital which will help transform healthcare for people in and around Clitheroe. This new development has provided a long-awaited facility with the patient at the heart of the hospital and everything has been designed and built with them in mind.
Deputy Mayor Mrs Hilton, who had a 40-year career in the NHS retiring as director of service provision for Hyndburn and Ribble Valley PCT in 2006, said: “People in Clitheroe have waited years and years for a new hospital and it is absolutely fantastic that they have this new facility now without having to leave the town for healthcare services.”
Construction of the new hospital began in February 2013. In addition to the first floor wards, the ground floor of the hospital is home to the outpatient department and consultation rooms, specialist dentistry unit, physiotherapy and occupational therapy facilities, a restaurant and Clitheroe’s new ambulance station. Beautiful pictures of scenes across the Ribble Valley captured by members of Clitheroe Camera Club are displayed in the waiting area.
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