AIREDALE Hospital's new £6.3 million Emergency Department is opening early next month.

The state-of-the-art unit will become operational on December 3, it was revealed this week.

An official opening ceremony will take place next year.

In May, the Keighley News joined forces with the hospital to launch a £100,000 appeal to fund vital resources for the new department.

The fundraising campaign is over a third of the way towards its target.

Meg Crossley, consultant in emergency medicine and the project lead, pays tribute to everyone who has given their backing.

Staff, patients, businesses, community organisations and individuals have given donations and staged events to boost the coffers.

"So far we have raised around £38,000," said Mrs Crossley.

"We have had great support and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has raised money for us so far."

Contractor Willmott Dixon is now carrying out finishing touches to the new department.

"It has been purpose-built to our specification and will offer huge improvements for all patients, including better facilities for children and families," added Mrs Crossley.

Provision will include a specialist Butterfly Room to help vulnerable patients suffering from dementia, and three distraction walls in the children’s assessment and treatment areas.

There will also be an interactive floor in the children's waiting room. The facility was displayed during an open day at the hospital, and received glowing feedback from the public.

And new equipment, including cardiac monitors, will improve care for the thousands who use the accident & emergency department every year.

Of the 53,489 people who visited A&E last year, 5,012 of them were aged five and under.

Mrs Crossley stressed the importance of facilities such as the distraction walls for youngsters.

"They will be wall-to-ceiling and play a vital role in helping parents entertain their child if they become agitated or distressed," she said.

"The walls are so important for children who find coming into hospital – particularly in an emergency situation – quite frightening."

People are being urged to continue to support the appeal.

E-mail charitable.funds@anhst.nhs, visit or call 01535 294546 for further information.

Donations can be made by texting EDAP50 £5 to 70070, online at or by sending a cheque – made payable to 'Airedale NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Funds', with ED Appeal written on the back or in the accompanying letter – to the hospital.

Contact the Keighley News via or on 01535 606611 (option three) to publicise fundraising activities.