Sir George formally opened the re-furbished Bere Hill House Nursing Home in Whitchurch.
"Bere Hill House was a nursing home that needed modernising to bring it up to standard. Michael Braganza, the proprietor, built a new home next to it - Wessex Lodge - which I opened last year. The residents of Bere Hill House moved into Wessex Lodge, freeing the building up for extensive renewal and improvement. It was a pleasure to open it today, and see the change in the building. There are new, spacious and well-equipped rooms; but there is no institutional feel to the building as it still has the atmosphere of a large private house."
The matron, Margaret Paine, and the Mayor of Whitchurch joined Sir George at the ceremony. Bere Hill House has 30 beds, and some 80 people will be employed in the two buildings.
Speaking at the opening, Sir George said it was appropriate that a growing town such as Whitchurch should have its own nursing home. "People who have lived in Whitchurch all their lives should not have to leave when they become frail, and Bere Hill will ensure that there is a first class facility at their door-step."
He added that nursing homes needed to be built to higher standards. "The homes that people are leaving are very different to the homes their parents left forty years ago. They have grown accustomed to greater comforts and accessories, and expect to find these in the home they retire to."