A new purpose-built health facility has opened in Airedale.

The Bradford District Care Trust older people’s mental health ward has welcomed its first users.

The ward, formerly based at Lynfield Mount Hospital, Bradford, is now housed at the Airedale Centre for Mental Health, in the grounds of Airedale Hospital.

Bracken Ward features 22 en-suite rooms, arranged across separate corridors for men and women, and a ‘therapeutic’ kitchen for activities such as baking.

There are also dining lounges, a day centre and family room.

And ‘green’ features include under-floor heating, sun tubes to allow natural light into corridor areas and outdoor furniture made from recycled materials.

Brian Proctor – a member of the trust’s older people’s involvement group, which helped design the ward – cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony.

The former army nurse had spent six weeks in the ward, then known as Duchy Court, when it was based at Bradford.

“Bracken Ward is 100 per cent better in comparison to Duchy Court,” he said. “Every room is en-suite, which is a real plus for older people, particularly at night.”

Mr Proctor was joined at the ceremony by trust staff, service user groups and the building contractors.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Shubhra Singh said: “The opening of Bracken Ward marks a new beginning for older people’s mental health services.

“The trust strives to provide the best patient care and this ward is testimony to the efforts of staff and service users over four years, from when we started this process.”