PATIENTS and relatives have helped to give a fresh new look to the main ward at St John's Hospice, Lancaster.

After a two-week closure for renovations, the ward has reopened with new curtains and furniture, including pressure-relieving chairs and mattresses, and a new nurses' station to give patients and families a focal point. During the break, five individual rooms stayed open and more nursing care was given at patients' homes.

Hospice chief executive Sue McGraw said: "Our ward was looking a little dated. With the help of patients, families, staff and volunteers we have created a welcoming, homely environment that we are now very proud of."

The hospice celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.