An inpatient unit providing mental health support to older people has officially reopened in Stevenage.

Elizabeth Court in Graveley Road, run by the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, was officially reopened yesterday (May 14) by the NHS trust's chief executive, Karen Taylor, to tie in with Dementia Action Week.

Karen was joined by staff from the unit, service users and invited guests, including representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society, Hertfordshire County Council and Carers in Herts.

Elizabeth Court has been officially reopened following a £2.5m investment in estate works to improve the facilities and fabric of the building.

Twenty-seven service users are now enjoying a light, welcoming and dementia-friendly environment.

There are bright designs and murals on the walls, which include bubbles and turtles in the bathrooms and a calming woodland scene in the communal area.

There have also been significant improvements made to the garden, creating a therapeutic and secure space for service users and their families to enjoy together.

While the unit was being refurbished, service users were accommodated in neighbouring Victoria Court.

Fiona McMillan-Shields, the NHS trust's managing director, described the moving days as "seamless".

She said: "I want to thank all of the staff involved in the move, as well as during the run up.

"Staff spent important time with service users and carers beforehand, helping to familiarise them with the new unit, and they also showed real commitment by volunteering for additional shifts over this period.

"Managing the clinical risk involved in moving vulnerable service users was also an important factor in the move, but the whole team worked together and did a fantastic job, which has been greatly appreciated by service users and their families and carers."