A HEREFORD hospital that provides specialist clinics without GP referral is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Nuffield, formerly Wye Valley Hospital, opened its doors in Venns Lane in 1974 as one of a wave of 15 new Nuffield hospitals.

Since then, significant development has seen it widening its health services and helping around 3,000 people a year.

A £700,000 upgrade has taken place at the hospital within the past three years and specialist clinics are now available, including breast and testicular cancer screenings, baby scans and treatment for back pain.

Val Gardiner, who is the hospital's matron, has been at the site ever since it opened.

She said that Nuffield "take the qualities of the traditional NHS matron of yesteryear and blends it with the contemporary leadership and clinical skills required in a 21st century healthcare environment.

"Much is said about consultant-led care within a hospital, but combined with our unique matron-led nursing care, patients can be assured that they are receiving focussed, individual and holistic care, based on evidence, best practice and innovation," she said.

To celebrate its anniversary, further developments will be made for the hospital's self-pay, insured and NHS patients that use the 'choose and book' service.