THE last of a series of drop in sessions for those interested in the future of health care in Craven is due to take place at Bentham Golf Club tomorrow (Friday).

Health chiefs have been running an informal consultation about intermediate, end-of-life and palliative care services in the Craven area, following the temporary withdrawal of services at Castleberg Hospital, Giggleswick, earlier this year.

It will be the last session before a formal, three month consultation gets underway towards the end of the year, although comments may also be made online, also before the end of Friday.

Castleberg Hospital's ten bed Harden Ward closed suddenly in April because of safety fears over the power supply, drainage and heating.

Over the last few weeks, NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been inviting comments about future health care and whether they would like to see the hospital remain open, or whether it should be closed and care provided in a different way.

Options could also include the building of a replacement facility, or the use of an existing facility - or other options identified locally.

Dr James Thomas, clinical chairman of the CCG, said: “We have had over 400 people contribute so far to this engagement exercise. Friday’s drop-in is the final chance for people to have their say and talk to us about the future of intermediate, end-of-life and palliative care services in Craven. We would like to hear their views so that we can provide the right services in the Craven area. It’s vital that we understand what is important to people and why. Their views can really make a difference to the options we propose as part of the formal consultation.”

Castleberg provided intermediate care and some end of life services to patients from Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, including Bentham.

Since the closure, patients have been assessed and either cared for at home, or close to a home in a nursing or care home.

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust has strengthened the community team working in the Craven area and staff from Castleberg Hospital have been redeployed, on a temporary basis, across the community and intermediate care teams that cover the whole of the Craven area.

Following the engagement sessions, the CCG will assess all of the options against a range of criteria including patient safety and experience, clinical effectiveness, levels of care, and cost.

Tomorrow's (Friday) session at Bentham Golf Club, Robin Lane, will take place from 11am to 1pm. The online consultation, which will end tomorrow, can be accessed at:

People can also register their interest to receive information about the engagement and the future consultation by:


or completing the form online at: