A telephone helpline for seriously ill patients is being extended.

Funding is being given on a trial basis for the next year by Bradford City and Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Gold Line – launched across Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven last November – provides round-the-clock advice to patients and their carers.

It aims to help avert the need for patients to enter hospital by offering assistance when GP surgeries and other community health services are closed. Calls are answered by a team of nurses in the Telehealth Hub at Airedale Hospital.

Dr Linda Wilson, palliative care consultant at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be able to extend this service. It is already providing extra support, reassurance and care.

“Early results are very encouraging and feedback from patients, carers and professionals has been positive. A formal evaluation of the service is also under way.”