Ilkley Coronation Hospital given just five years

Ilkley Gazette: Ilkley Coronation Hospital Ilkley Coronation Hospital

A £300,000 revamp of the Coronation Hospital in Ilkley may prolong the life of the hospital by just five years, it has been revealed.

Bradford Council’s Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee heard last Thursday how maintenance and improvement work planned by owner NHS Property Services would “give the building another five years”.

Representatives of Airedale Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Property Services, Bradford District Care Trust and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust assured the meeting they intend to keep providing services at the Springs Lane hospital in the medium term.

But they are still considering how to provide health and social care to Ilkley patients in the long term.

This could be from another building on the site, or closer to patients’ homes, members were told.

Committee chairman, Councillor Mike Gibbons (Con, Ilkley), is confident than short-term improvements to the ageing buildings could open the door for more services to be commissioned on the site in future.

Councillor Doreen Lee (Lab, Keighley East) was among those who called for stronger assurances about the future of the hospital. “That’s the biggest worry people of Ilkley have. They want some form of commitment,” she said.

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle Thackley) questioned public spending on the Coronation Hospital, if it may be closed in five years’ time.

Michael Dyson, of NHS Property Services, said he would submit a programme of works budget costs to his central office in January. If this is approved, he hopes work would begin mid summer. He said: “The Coronation Hospital is top of my priority list. I can’t commit to the decisions of central office, but from our point of view, it’s something we will be fighting for quite strongly.”

And health service representatives assured the meeting they were still looking at future services and no decision had been made to close the hospital in five years’ time.

The CCG’s chief operating officer, Sue Pitkethly, who was also a key figure in the shelved bid to build a £3.3million community hospital in Ilkley, told the meeting that plans were outlined to the public prior to the economic downturn and reorganisation of the NHS, which saw Primary Care Trusts abolished.

She said: “At that time, everybody in the NHS truly believed that was going to happen, then all these changes within the NHS came in. What we don’t want to do is raise expectations of the people of Ilkley again, because that’s just wrong.”

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