PRINCESS Anne visited Stroud General Hospital for the launch a new state-of-the-art ward.

The princess, who is patron of Stroud Hospital's League of Friends, officially opened the refurbished Cashes Green Ward, which features brand new facilities and endoscopy equipment.

The facility reopened in December last year, having undergone four months of extensive reconstruction.

The ambitious renovation works saw the ward undergo a major upgrade, including the introduction of six side rooms, four bays, a day room and modernised facilities.

The six-figure renovation programme was made possible thanks to the support of Stroud Hospital's League of Friends, who donated £351,000 towards the works.

Her Royal Highness was greeted on arrival by hospital staff and a host of local dignitaries.

The princess then enjoyed a tour of the 22-bed ward, meeting and talking with patients, members of the nursing team, fundraisers and volunteers from the Stroud Hospitals League of Friends.

The tour afforded Her Royal Highness the opportunity to visit the Princess Anne Day Surgery and Endoscopy Unit, as well as see first-hand the ward’s new, state-of-the-art facilities and endoscopy equipment.

The princess then unveiled a plaque commemorating the royal visit, marking the official opening of the unit.

Speaking after the official opening, Dr Susie Weir, said: “We are extremely honoured to have received our patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal today, and delighted to have had the opportunity to showcase this fabulous new facility.

“We are enormously grateful to Her Royal Highness for officiating the reopening and delighted to have had the opportunity to demonstrate first-hand exactly how the untiring fundraising efforts of the Stroud Hospitals League of Friends and the generosity of the community of Stroud have been put to such fabulous use.

“The contribution of £351,000 by Stroud Hospital's League of Friends has lifted Cashes Green Ward from being a standard refurbishment to one that is state-of-the art.”

Matron Juliette Richardson added: “The nursing staff and patients are absolutely thrilled with this fantastic new state-of-the-art ward.

"It is dementia friendly, with colour-co-ordinated décor designed to help patients find their way around the ward and identify which is their room or bay and where the bathrooms and facilities are.

“We now have a dedicated office, which we didn’t have before, a day room, and the design and layout of the ward, which is mixed sex, offers greater flexibility to accommodate both male and female patients.

“None of this would have been possible without the huge generosity of Stroud Hospitals League of Friends, who have been hugely supportive in our investment in the hospital, and instrumental in bringing this major renovation project to fruition.”