Plans to shift a specialist dementia care ward from Airedale Hospital to Bradford have come under attack.
Bradford District Care Trust wants to move Ward 24 to Lynfield Mount Hospital, in Daisy Hill, Bradford.
The Reverend David Griffiths, chairman of the Ward 24 Carers Action Group, said: “The care trust is doing its job and trying to save money, but moving this to Bradford will mean people in the North of our catchment area having to catch five buses for a 65-mile round trip.”
The move is also opposed by Bradford councillors Adrian Farley (Lab, Keighley West) and Doreen Lee (Lab, Keighley East).
Coun Lee said: “We’re extremely concerned. This is our only elderly ward in the area for people with acute dementia. How will their relatives get to Lynfield?”
She said there would be a day of action outside Keighley Market Hall on March 1, where people will be asked to sign a petition against the re-location.
Nicola Lees, deputy chief executive at Bradford District Care Trust, said: “Moving Ward 24 to a purpose-built facility at Lynfield Mount Hospital by spring 2015 is part of our wider plan to transform older people’s care.
“The new unit will provide 22 private bedrooms with some en-suite facilities and will offer a bespoke space for people living with this condition.
“This means we can provide higher quality care, in the best possible environment.”
She emphasised the re-location was not about cutting costs.
“We estimate we will save around £300,000 in current leasing arrangements, and some of this money will be re-invested into improving staffing levels in both our in-patient wards and community services,” she added.
“We understand that for some an in-patient stay is the only option.
“Where this is the case and re-location has an impact, we can confirm we will support carers and families to visit their loved ones.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said: “I’m afraid this has the feel of a negotiating position on the part of Bradford District Care Trust, although I hope I’m wrong.
“I’ve written to the trust chair to seek his views.
“I would certainly not wish to see my constituents having to travel into Bradford for access to this care.”