A £12 million refurbishment of St Helier Hospital’s exterior has been completed in what its trust says is the largest scale improvement it has seen “for a generation”.

Health minister Baroness Nicola Blackwood officially finished the work by painting the last square of a rendered wall in its “now famous” accent green.

The former Oxford West and Abingdon MP was given a brief tour of the hospital, in Wrythe Lane, before unveiling a commemorative plaque on the behalf of health secretary Matt Hancock.

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust say the project took a year to complete and relied on more than four miles of scaffolding.

This included replacing the roof, replacing the building’s steel infrastructure, replacing more than 300 windows and adding a 10cm thick render to protect it from the elements.

Baroness Blackwood said: “It was fantastic to see the impressive refurbishment work at St Helier, and I was honoured to play my part by adding the finishing touches to the paint work.

“The flagship project will be a massive boost to all the patients and I want to thank all the staff as without them improvements such as these would not happen.

“I also had the opportunity to meet and talk with the dedicated frontline staff, and it was particularly fantastic to hear that the trust has such a high morale, with a priority of putting the patient at the centre of everything they do.”

Epsom and St Helier’s chief executive Daniel Elkeles says the year-long project is the “largest scale improvement the trust has seen for a generation”.

He added: “It has taken the hard work and dedication of a huge number of our staff, and has completely transformed this area of our hospital.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to Baroness Blackwood for officially completing this project, for taking the time to hear about the future of our hospitals and to meet St Helier staff. Our staff do an amazing job in challenging circumstances, and despite the fact that our ageing buildings can sometimes let us down, staff will always go above and beyond to care for patients.

“It was an honour to meet Baroness Blackwood, and we were all touched by the kind words and positive feedback she gave us – it was truly a proud day for St Helier Hospital and all of our staff.”