High hopes for major upgrade of Ilkley's Coronation Hospital

Wharfedale Observer: Councillor Mike Gibbons at the Coronation Hospital in Ilkley Councillor Mike Gibbons at the Coronation Hospital in Ilkley

Hopes are high for the future redevelopment of Ilkley’s Coronation Hospital ahead of a summit of key health service decision makers.

Representatives of NHS Property Services, and the three main bodies responsible for commissioning local healthcare services, will be asked to work together on plans for the ageing cottage hospital at a meeting of Bradford Council’s Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee next week.

They were called to the meeting by committee chairman, ward councillor Mike Gibbons (Con, Ilkley), who is keen to see progress on decade-old health service promises to upgrade or rebuild the hospital.

The meeting is set to be the first to publicly bring together representatives of all the relevant organisations in a debate over the Coronation Hospital since the re-organisation of NHS healthcare commissioning nationally.

Councillor Gibbons told the Gazette: “I’m hopeful of a moderately positive outcome. I’m quietly confident that we’ll have something at the table.”

The debate about the future of the hospital buildings, on Springs Lane, began in 2002 amid problems with a large financial deficit for the then owner, Airedale NHS Trust.

The Springs Lane hospital premises were transferred to then Airedale Primary Care Trust (PCT). The PCT carried out a public consultation in 2003 over the future of the hospital, concluding it should be rebuilt.

Closure of the hospital was one of the options considered, and concerns have continued in Ilkley that the facilities may still be lost.

Subsequent schemes put forward by successive primary healthcare commissioning bodies, including 2008 proposals for a £3.3million Coronation Community Hospital, have failed to progress.

Several services have been lost at the hospital in the past decade.

Re-organisation of the NHS has more recently seen the Coronation Hospital building transferred back to the ownership of Airedale NHS Trust.

Coun Gibbons believes it is important to bring together the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for the area, as they commission services locally, and hold the key to determining where and how healthcare services are provided.

He is to ask all the organisations to work together to resolve the situation with Ilkley’s hospital.

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