Campaign to keep dementia unit at Airedale General Hospital

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth collecting signatures with Save Ward 24 campaigners in Ilkley

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth collecting signatures with Save Ward 24 campaigners in Ilkley

First published in News Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Members of Ward 24 Carers Action Group were in Ilkley on Saturday trying to raise public awareness and get signatures for their petition to keep ward 24, the dementia ward, at Airedale General Hospital.

Bradford District Care Trust is moving the acute assessment ward for people with dementia to Lynfield Mount Hospital in Bradford but campaigners fighting to save ward 24 say shifting it to Lynfield Mount would mean it is in the wrong location and would be expensive.

Chairman of the group, the Rev David Griffiths, said: “We had another great day meeting and talking with people who, if they have had any contact with ward 24, had only good things to say about the ward staff and the care their loved one has received. Our petition now has 3,500 signatures and we are taking it to Settle on April 5 and Skipton on April 12 from 10am to 1pm.”

The campaign was supported in Ilkley by Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley).

The treasurer and secretary of the group, Christine Jones said: “We are being a grain of sand now for people suffering dementia, a horrible disease, as we irritate for change that will result in a pearl. Over 10 years we have been a critical friend, fundraising and encouraging improvements as we have worked with BDCT and ward 24 staff to create a pearl – a good ward with a good reputation and we do not want to lose it.”

Anyone who would like to sign the petition online can do so at change.org. Type ward 24 into the search box and it is top of the list.

Nicola Lees, deputy chief executive at the trust, said: “I understand there are concerns about the change and I’ve met representatives from the Ward 24 Action Group.”

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