Airedale NHS Foundation Trust (ANHSFT) made the decision to withdraw services temporarily from Castleberg Hospital on 13 April 2017 following ongoing issues with the power supply, drainage and heating. ANHSFT could no longer be confident that the building was safe to provide inpatient care or was suitable for the health and wellbeing of its staff. The hospital had 10 beds providing intermediate care and some end-of-life and palliative services to patients living in Craven.
The Trust continues to provide intermediate, end-of-life and palliative care services to people living in Craven. After clinical assessment, they are cared for at home or close to home (for example, in a nursing or care home). To support this, the Trust has strengthened the community team working in and around the Craven area and Castleberg’s staff have been re-deployed temporarily across the community and intermediate care teams in Craven.
People who need acute inpatient care are treated at Airedale General Hospital or, if they live in Bentham, at Lancaster Royal Infirmary. End-of-life and palliative care services are provided in people’s own homes, the care/nursing homes where they live, or in the Sue Ryder Hospice at Manorlands in Oxenhope.
A public consultation was launched in November 2017, which looked at future options for Castleberg Hospital and the provision of care in the Craven area and this ran until 27 February 2018.
Following this, Julian spoke with the CCG to fully communicate the strength of feeling he understood from constituents. He was in touch with them throughout their decision making process and he continued to raise issues about the rurality of our area and the needs for intermediate service provision and he also interacted with local GPs regarding this.
On 8 May 2018 the CCG's governing body voted unanimously for the hospital to be reopened once the necessary repairs had taken place. It is estimated that the hospital will be re-opening in October 2019.
Julian Smith said: 'I welcome the decision to re-open the hospital. This reflects the views of many of the constituents that contacted me and I am glad that resident’s views were reflected in the decision made. I pay tribute to community groups in the area that engaged so fully with the consultation process.'