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Labour's Ilkley Parliamentary Candidate makes Airedale Hospital visit

Securing the Future Programme Manager Fran Hewitt with Labour parliamentary candidate John Grogan

The former Keighley and Ilkley MP John Grogan - who standing again in the next general election - has backed plans for a complete rebuild of Airedale during a visit to the hospital.

Mr Grogan, Labour's parliamentary candidate for the constituency, was briefed by senior management on their plans for the future during a visit to Airedale's award-winning intensive care unit.

He said: "The first thing I said when I was selected as a parliamentary candidate was that we must all work together across all political parties to get Airedale Hospital rebuilt and I meant it.

"If we fail it risks closure as parts of the wards are literally crumbling as I saw on my visit.

"The best estimates are that we have until 2030 to get this done. On top of the capital cost of the new build around £20 million is needed each year just to keep patching up and making safe the current buildings. Hopefully the initial green light will be given in this Parliament but most of the money will be spent and the project delivered in the next.

"As we have seen recently, particularly regarding the proposed high speed rail link across the Pennines, promises made of infrastructure investment in the run up to an election are not always followed through. We will need a sustained campaign for at least the next five years.

"The good news is that there is plenty of land available on the site for building whilst maintaining services in the existing wards. Following my visit I shall be briefing the Shadow Secretary of State for Health Wes Streeting on the plans.

"Finally, it is impossible to spend some time at Airedale and not be impressed by the dedication and pride in their work of the staff who every day contribute to patient care far more than their contractual commitments.


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