Designs for a controversial new dementia service which will see the existing facility moved out of Airedale Hospital have been approved.
Bradford District Care Trust’s board has given the thumbs up to establishing this service at Lynfield Mount Hospital, Bradford.
It would replace Ward 24 at Airedale. The board says the new unit should be up and running by May 2015.
Campaigners fighting to save Ward 24 say shifting it to Lynfield Mount would mean it is in the wrong location and would involve needless expense.
They note that some service users live as far north as Ingleton, so would face an extremely long journey on public transport.
Keighley East councillor Doreen Lee said: “We got 1,200 signatures in two hours to save Ward 24 and that was just in Keighley.
“Not one member of the public we spoke to knew anything about the public consultation.”
However, the care trust argues that basing the facility at Lynfield Mount will create a “centre of excellence” in older people’s mental-health services.
The organisation says the unit will comprise 22 en-suite rooms and feature doors and handrails in bright, contrasting colours.
Nicola Lees, deputy chief executive at the trust, said: “I understand there are concerns about the change and I’ve met representatives from the Ward 24 Action Group and local councillors to discuss their concerns.
“We’ve committed to fund appropriate transport costs for a small number of families affected by the move to a new site.”