A FLAGSHIP state-of-the-art hospital promising to set "new standards in excellence" will open its doors to the public next week.

Consultants at the newly built CircleReading hospital will on Wednesday begin treating their first patients at the �50m complex next door to the Hilton Hotel in south Reading.

The 50-bed luxury centre offers surgery and outpatient services for both private and NHS patients and features five theatres boasting the latest cutting-edge medical equipment.

Its spacious and airy wards are set in landscaped grounds to create a 'healing environment' and it follows in the footsteps of Circle's award winning hospital in Bath which was named 'Best Building' in the British Construction Industry Awards and 'Best Customer Service' in the Bath Business Awards.

Chief executive Ali Parsa stressed the complex will complement NHS services and added: "We're really excited to be opening our doors to Berkshire patients next week.

"Our partnership of local doctors and hospital staff has come together with the single aim of setting new standards of excellence in care. We believe hospitals can be better and it's too important not to try."

Bosses have so far recruited 110 consultants and 100 staff in a range of medical, hospitality, administrative and managerial posts and all workers are officially partners, based on the John Lewis chain's employee ownership scheme.

It also features ENT, ophthalmology and endoscopy departments services and will be carrying out cataract, retinal and urological operations with surgeons using digital touchscreens to capture and record images during surgery or examinations.

Engineers are spending this week preparing its pioneering medical kit including a latest generation MRI scanner, digital scanning mammography, Digital X-Ray room and diagnostic ultrasound machine.

The hospital will host its official opening ceremony on Thursday, September 6, when Reading-based artists will contribute to a spectacular art exhibition.