No quick fix for creaking hospital

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COUNCILLORS are to discuss the future of Ilkley’s Coronation Hospital on Tuesday.

A landmark of the local community since it was built in 1904, a report for Bradford members says it has “long since outlived its original purpose”.

It adds: “At best, parts of the hospital show clear fatigue but some ares are in need of significant improvement.

“In its current state the hospital premises are not now suitable for providing health and social care in a modern environment and little can be done to reverse this situation.

“Coupled to this, the building is expensive to maintain and its design and layout is unsuited to the needs of older people and those with physical disabilities.”

Because of this services at the hospital are limited to a day hospital, some diagnostic procedures such as x-rays, some outpatient clinics and rehabilitation services.

The original plan was to develop a new Coronation Community Hospital following public consultation in 2009 but this has now been put on hold for financial reasons. People who took part in the consultation were keen for the hospital to remain close to the centre of Ilkley.

Four options were considered including redeveloping the existing site at Springs Lane, creating a new hospital on a new site, carrying out minor refurbishments of the existing hospital or complete closure.

The report by John Lawlor, chief executive of NHS Airedale, said: “The challenging financial position of the NHS as a whole and the wider public sector mean that the ability to progress any significant estate developments at this time is severely constrained.”

The hospital scheme remains on the list of future premises development but no action is likely until the current public sector financial situation improves dramatically.

The hospital’s future will be discussed by members of the Health Overview and Scrutiny panel next week.