A £10m replacement hospital with top-of-the range diagnostic services has been officially opened in Hythe.
The ribbon at the Hythe and Dibden War Memorial Hospital in Beaulieu Road was cut by New Forest East MP Sir Julian Lewis.
Patients started coming through the doors last November but the official opening was delayed from the end of last year due to poor weather.
Sir Julian Lewis MP presents chair of the hospital's League of Friends John Carr with a plaque in his honour
As reported in the local press, the site, which is run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, closed to patients in 2016 after a review found the buildings were in an unacceptable condition.
Sir Julian recalled the campaign to save the unit between 2005 and 2006 when the NHS looked at shutting inpatient beds at community hospitals across the New Forest.
He told the A&T: “This state-of-the-art health facility will offer advice, support and a range of treatments to residents of the Waterside and beyond"
“It is hugely impressive and could never have happened without the community’s successful campaign to keep Hythe hospital when its future seemed under threat previously.
“Truly, it’s an all-round success story.”
A plaque was presented to John Carr, chair of the hospital’s League of Friends, who has had the new imaging suite named after him to mark his years of support for the project.
The hospital, which was granted planning permission in 2018, houses a new diagnostics suite alongside a new X-ray machine and ultrasound services.
It also offers physiotherapy, musculoskeletal (MSK) services, ear nose and throat care, a respiratory clinic, an older persons mental health (OPMH) team, podiatry, and bladder, bowel and stoma care.
There will also be various paediatric health services, a heart failure clinic, maternity services, gynaecology, urology, leg ulcer care and special care dentistry.
Members of the community, staff and Sir Julian at the official opening
A spokesperson for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board told the A&T: “Over many years the site has been a hive of activity as the old building was demolished and foundations and services for the new building and car parking have been put in place.
“The building of the new hospital was a joint effort from a number of organisations, including NHS Property Services, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board and the many NHS providers using the building, such as the local primary care network, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.”
Around 1.8 acres of the wider hospital site has been sold to New Forest District Council which recently granted itself planning permission to build 22 new affordable homes there.
The homes will be a mix of flats and houses, all owned by NFDC and rented to tenants on its housing waiting list.