Call for action over extra community beds at Otley hospital

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Discussions are to take place between health bosses and a Leeds councillor over the possibility of creating community care beds at an Otley hospital.

Coun Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) had spoken of his disappointment that the idea of housing intermediate care beds at Wharfedale Hospital had not yet materialised.

Talks over locating the facility, which would care for patients who do not need care on an acute ward but are not yet well enough to go home, first took place last year.

Bosses from Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which would fund the beds, had discussed the idea along with campaigners including Coun Lay.

However he says the plans have not yet moved forward.

Coun Lay said: “When the CCG confirmed that they were going to take our proposals on board, I was overjoyed.”

The closed ward which he had hoped would be reopened is currently being used as a training hub for apprentices at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Wharfedale Hospital.

The councillor added that the specialist ward would help prevent bed-blocking and benefit people living in Otley, as well as those across the city as capacity would be freed up in other hospitals: “Winter is coming and given that there are insufficient community beds and places causing delayed discharges during the year, this problem is only set to get worse.

“I shall be speaking with the CCG to explore the possible funding options so that we can get these plans turned in action.”

A spokeswoman for Leeds South and East CCG said: “Coun Lay has requested a meeting with us to discuss community beds and we are happy to meet with him.”

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