Primary care nurses from Oxfordshire PCT celebrated the reopening of a community hospital in Oxford last week.
The city’s old community hospital, known as Oxcomm, was closed in May last year after an outbreak of Clostridium difficile.
However, after an 18 month campaign led by UNISON, a new facility based at the John Radcliffe Hospital took its first patients on Monday.
The 20-bed ward, which at present is temporary, will be replaced by a permanent unit, to be called City Community Hospital, on the hospital site next June.
NHS Oxfordshire director of service redesign Alan Webb said: “Following the closure of OxComm last year, we were keen to find a suitable facility for providing the City Community Hospital within the heart of Oxford that meets the needs of the local population.
“Patients will be able to benefit from the new environment including a sensory garden and assisted kitchen which, along with new pathways of care, will aid their rehabilitation,” he said.
Unison joint branch chair Anthea Parsons said: “It is particularly impressive that PCT managers recognise the strength of feeling among staff and community about this hospital and changed tack to work with the Oxford Radcliffe Trust to provide a ‘state of the art’ NHS facility. Good on them.”