THE Union Jack is flying high above a South Gloucestershire hospital for the first time in five years.

The flag is being proudly displayed above Cossham Hospital in Kingswood against after money was donated to replace a new pole.

The Cossham Hospital League of Friends has purchased a new flag pole and flag for the hospital which is celebrating its first birthday since re-opening in January 2013 after a £19million refurbishment.

The hospital was first opened in 1907 and was built as a memorial to Handel Cossham, a local MP and benefactor.

The building, run by North Bristol NHS Trust, now has new, modern and fully accessible facilities from which the NHS can deliver double the amount of outpatient appointments reducing the number of local people who have to use an acute hospital.

Roy Tippett, chairman of the league of the friends, said: “We’re delighted to see the flag flying again. It is a fitting way to celebrate the first successful year of Cossham since it reopened.

“I never thought it would happen and I would like to thank Graham Kennedy and the late John Lord of the Save Cossham Group for all their hard work in securing this fantastic facility for the future.”

Angela Hancock, descendent of Handel Cossham, said: “Handel wanted to be remembered.

“He cared about the sick and the suffering and he would be thrilled that the League of Friends is carrying on his work. He would be amazingly pleased that the hospital is such a success.”

Key new departments at Cossham include the area’s first stand-alone, midwife-led birth centre and a renal dialysis unit.

The hospital also has enhanced x-ray, ultrasound, MRI and CT scanning facilities and is able to be able to offer twice as many physiotherapy appointments than before. The flag is available to fly for special occasions and events. For a minimum donation of £5, it will fly from 8am-6pm. Funds will go to the Cossham League of Friends. To enquire call into the main reception of the hospital during office hours or call 0117 340 8400.