Health Secretary Steve Barclay has paid a visit to Airedale Hospital to discuss plans for the recently-announced full rebuild of the hospital.
Mr Barclay met with leaders from Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, staff at the hospital and Keighley MP Robbie Moore.
It follows last month's news that the hospital would be re-built on the current site by 2030.
The Secretary of State for Health was welcomed to Airedale by Foluke Ajayi, Chief Executive of the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, leaders of the trust and MP Robbie Moore, where the group toured the hospital to survey the hospital’s current structural issues.
The current Airedale Hospital building, constructed over 53 years ago, primarily utilises reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), which is known for its structural deficiencies. It has more than 50,000 panels made of RAAC and inspections have revealed more than 500 incidents of structural failure, including cracked panels and falling debris, resulting in the closure of certain wards due to safety concerns.
Mr Barclay and Mr Moore then met with nurses at the hospital, before hosting a roundtable discussion with hospital staff.
Great morning @AiredaleNHSFT talking to staff and patients about our plans for rebuilding on the Airedale site and hearing what it means to them.— Steve Barclay (@SteveBarclay) June 8, 2023
The much-needed rebuild is part of our plan to deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030 and will provide modern facilities & the latest tech. pic.twitter.com/72keNTA1Lo
Following the meeting, Keighley’s MP has pledged to work closely with the Mr Barclay, the government and the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust to ensure the swift delivery of the new hospital.
Robbie Moore said: “After spending the last 3 and a half years tirelessly lobbing the government for a brand new hospital, I was delighted to welcome our Health Secretary Stephen Barclay to Keighley today following the news announced by our Conservative government that all necessary funds have been secured.
"Today, we heard first-hand about what our new hospital will mean for our community and the Health Secretary had the chance to meet some of Airedale’s fantastic doctors, nurses and hardworking staff for a round table discussion about the future of healthcare in our area.
"This is without doubt one of the most significant investments announced for Keighley in decades, and will secure the future of healthcare on the Airedale site for many generations to come.
"I will continue to make clear to government, we must not get complacent. My priority for Airedale is now ensuring we see our new Hospital built as quickly as possible, in advance of the 2030 deadline. It was therefore fantastic to hear during the visit that enabling work will start as early as this year.
"I thank the fantastic Airedale NHS Foundation Trust for their tireless work for our community and I look forward to working closely with them to ensure this landmark new hospital is a success.”
🏥DELIVERING FOR YOU - MEETING WITH HEALTH SECRETARY ABOUT OUR NEW AIREDALE HOSPITAL After spending the last 3.5 years...Posted by Robbie Moore MP on Thursday, June 8, 2023