A telephone helpline service for seriously ill patients is being extended.

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

Gold Line – launched across Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven last November – provides round-the-clock help and 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 care 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: “It is already providing extra support, reassurance and care. Early results are very encouraging and feedback from patients, their carers and professionals working with them has been positive.

“A formal evaluation of the service is also under way and results will be available at the end of this year.”