Ashford Hospital received a visitor from Walford to help open the new outpatients department after its £2.8m transformation.

Actress Nina Wadia, who played Zainab in EastEnders, unveiled a plaque at the hospital on Thursday, September 26, to mark the opening of the department following its modernisation works.

As part of the works, the old atrium was converted into a large waiting area with new furniture, a separate colourful space for children and a new cafeteria.

The departments’ consulting rooms were also decorated and each area is colour coded to help patients navigate their way around more easily.

Along with the main refurbishments, a treatment suite with rooms for minor operations was created and the Jasmine Suite for breast and gynaecology was refurbished.

Aileen McLeish, chairman of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, said: “This is one the biggest projects undertaken at the trust in recent times, with an investment of £2.8m.

“Not only does it provide a much better environment for patients, staff and visitors, but it also highlights our commitment to developing services at Ashford Hospital. The transformation is truly amazing.”

Ms Wadia, who lives in Staines and has used the hospital previously, said: “Looking round, it’s so neat and clean, I am so very impressed and for a little while I felt as if I was on Holby City.

“I know how hard everyone works and I am not unfamiliar with this hospital. I’ve lived in many other places and there is no country in the world that can touch the NHS.”