A NEW wing at Bradford's Marie Cure Hospice has been officially opened this morning.

The Sovereign Wing was made possible by a donation of more than £300,000 from the charitable trust of Bradford-based cash plan provider Sovereign Health Care.

Trust chairman Dr Robert Dugdale and Dr Sarah Holmes, consultant in palliative medicine at the hospice in Maudsley Street, opened the facility, which was developed by refurbishing an existing area of the site in a project lasting four months.

Upgrade work included installing new flooring - which helps protect against infection - ventilation and heating, and redecoration.

The wing has two single rooms and two three-bed rooms, each with en-suite facilities.

There is also a new patio and state-of-the-art equipment, including aids to help patients with breathing.

Dr Holmes said: “We’re very grateful to Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust for their hugely generous donation.

“Research has shown repeatedly that a supportive and welcoming environment can have positive effects on those who visit hospices, whether as patients or visitors, and people who work in them, and the Sovereign Wing now certainly fits that description.”

The new wing is part of a much wider refurbishment at the hospice, costing almost £900,000, aimed at increasing patient dignity and comfort and enhancing individual privacy and choice.

Work has included repairing beds, replacing carpeted floors with vinyl surfaces, redecorating rooms, improving accessibility, upgrading bathroom fixtures, to prevent leaking, and installing new wall panelling, to aid cleaning and infection control. Features such as colours and flooring were chosen after consultation with patients, their families and staff.

Dr Dugdale said: “Marie Curie received about £300,000 from the Department of Health to fund the overall refurbishment but relied on other sources, such as donations, to make up the near £600,000 shortfall and we’re delighted to have helped significantly in this respect.

“We support a wide variety of health and wellbeing-related good causes, mainly within West Yorkshire, and the work carried out by Marie Curie really makes a real difference in the community. It’s wonderful to see the completely refurbished wing, which is hugely impressive, fully operational.”