East Surrey Hospital in Redhill has opened two new wards as part of its £14 million redevelopment programme.

The first patients have been welcomed on to the new wards - Copthorne on the upper level, which will treat general surgery patients, and Charlwood on the lower level, which will treat digestive diseases patients.

The new wards have 20 beds in each, with four single rooms and four four–bed rooms.

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the East Surrey, said the additional beds on the new wards will improve the ‘patient flow’ throughout the hospital, and have a positive impact on the Emergency Department and the hospital as a whole.

The new wards are also the first in the hospital to introduce new patient entertainment systems. Each bed has its own flat screen digital TV, radio, telephone and internet access.

The new patient entertainment systems also have the capacity to make inbound and outbound phone calls and will soon allow doctors to log into the Trust’s computer systems to check patient results.

In addition, Copthorne and Charlwood wards are pioneering new food serving techniques.

Part of this improvement scheme is the introduction of new trolleys which have hot and cold cupboard compartments to keep the food at the correct temperature.

The Trust stated that other measures are also being taken to improve food presentation, portion size and menu choice on the new wards.

Ian Mackenzie, director of information and facilities at the Trust, said: “I am really proud of what the team at East Surrey Hospital have achieved.

“We’ve gone from an initial idea in July last year to opening two new wards in seven months.

“This shows what we can achieve when we work together to improve services for our patients.”

Michael Wilson, chief executive of the Trust, said: “I am delighted that the new wards have opened on time and on budget.”

He said: “As part of our £14 million redevelopment programme, the new wards and additional capacity will ensure that patients arrive more quickly onto wards for treatment.

“They will help to reduce overcrowding and create a more comfortable experience for both staff and patients.”

The modular units that make up the wards were delivered at the end of last November and were handed over to the Trust for fitting out at the beginning of February.