A campaign to re-open two closed hospital wards at Wharfedale Hospital is a step closer to being successful after receiving the backing of local health chiefs.
A review by The Leeds West NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has recommended opening a 40 bed facility in the two wards at the hospital, that would offer intermediate care to patients who no longer need to be in hospital but still require some medical support.
The move comes after last winter’s A & E crisis in the NHS, for which so-called bed- blocking – a failure to properly discharge patients from hospital because of insufficient facilities in areas like intermediate care –was blamed for delays.
Almost 1,800 patients in Leeds alone had their transfers delayed because of such issues in 2014.
The crisis prompted Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland to speak out in January about re-opening the defunct wards, as some residents in Otley, Wharfedale and other parts of North Leeds were being forced to travel all the way to the city centre for intermediate care.
Having met local CCG chief executive Philomena Corrigan along with local councillors Sandy Lay and Kate Whelan yesterday, Mr Mulholland said: “It is ridiculous that we have had two empty wards at Wharfedale Hospital for the last few years sitting idle with local residents being asked to travel all the way into Leeds for intermediate care that can and should be offered locally.
“This has been particularly difficult for spouses nad partners of older people who have to use public transport.”