Thornbury hospital patients were transferred to a new facility at the weekend.

16 patients moved from the Henderson Ward at Thornbury Hospital to the new Henderson Rehabilitation Unit at Grace Care Centre.

Great grandmother Rita Freed was the first person welcomed on to the new unit.

Rita, who is 96 and has lived in Thornbury for 40 years, said: “This new facility is lovely, the amenities are great; it is going to definitely be an asset for the town.”

Gilbert Roberts, 91, also from Thornbury, was quite excited about the new venture and after arriving at the new unit said: “This is just like a hotel.”

One of the last to leave the hospital was Chris Alcock, 78, from Chipping Sodbury who has been recovering from a stroke since August. “The nurses have tried really hard to make things easier for people on the ward but it has been cramped; I was looking forward to moving.”

Ward manager Rebecca Thomas praised the work of staff in ensuring a smooth transfer and said they are all looking forward to continuing the rehabilitation journey for people like Chris, Gilbert and Rita.

“Chris couldn’t walk when he first came to Thornbury; now he can thanks to the skills and experience of the staff. All the staff are moving with us to the new unit so this, with the much improved environment and facilities, means we can continue to make a difference to people like Chris.

The initiative is led by not-for-profit organisation Sirona care & health.

Cathy Daffada, Sirona’s lead for community inpatient care, said: “Thanks to all the hard work of staff at both Sirona and The Orders of St John Care Trust the move went really smoothly and it is fantastic for individuals in our care and our staff to be in a new purpose built facility.

Next week will see the move of Sirona’s physiotherapy outpatient services to the Thornbury Active Lifestyle Centre.

There will be tours of the new clinics on November 30 from 10am-2pm and a Christmas Bazaar to raise money for the Sirona Foundation, Sirona’s charitable arm.