Ilkley Hospital revamp ready to start but £300,000 needed

Ilkley Coronation Hospital

Ilkley Coronation Hospital

First published in News Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A study which could pave the way for a £300,000 revamp of Ilkley’s Coronation Hospital is complete, but health bosses have yet to approve the spending.

The chairman of a Bradford Council scrutiny committee has had confirmation that a feasibility study on the refurbishment has been finished.

The proposals, unveiled by health trusts and a commissioning group at a Bradford Council Health and Social Overview and Scrutiny Committee late last year, would see maintenance and improvement work done at the ageing Springs Lane cottage hospital.

Property owner NHS Property Services said the work would “give the building another five years”.

Committee chairman, Ilkley ward councillor, Mike Gibbons, (Con, Ilkley) asked NHS Property Services to attend a further Committee meeting early this year, after hearing those behind the bid were ‘fighting strongly’ for the refurbishment.

But the hoped-for confirmation that much-needed improvement work can go ahead is yet to be confirmed.

Coun Gibbons said: “I’ve made further contact and hope to hear from them in the near future. I’m keeping in very close contact with them.”

The proposals include internal and external decoration, new floor coverings, upgraded lighting and sanitary fittings, and replacement of outdated signage.

Concerns were raised by other members of the Scrutiny Committee in December that the revamp may not extend the hospital’s life beyond another five years.

Representatives of local healthcare providers told how services could be developed a different way in future, with more services provided in patients’ own homes. They confirmed their commitment to continuing to provide services from the cottage hospital in the medium term. The campaign to keep services in a fit-for-purpose local hospital now dates back over a decade.

The Coronation Hospital’s future was thrown in doubt during financial difficulties of the then owner, Airedale NHS Trust, in 2002. Consultations by the now defunct Airedale Primary Care Trust concluded the best option was to rebuild the hospital.

A £3.3 million plan for a new health care centre to house hospital services, proposed by Bradford and Airedale Teaching Primary Care Trust in 2008 was later put on hold due to the national reorganisation of the NHS.

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