CASTLEBERG Hospital, Giggleswick, - saved from closure by a determined community - has celebrated its official re-opening after refurbishment with staff, patients and families gathering for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Andrew Gold, chairman of the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, who lives in Skipton, said: “There are opportunities like this, as chairman of the trust and a resident of Skipton, that make me feel very proud.

“It’s being proud to see a facility like this here in the community thriving and making such a difference to the community’s life.”

The hospital closed unexpectedly in April, 2017, due to safety fears, and following a consultation about its future, reopened after a major programme of repair and refurbishment. It welcomed back its first patients in October.

One of the first to experience the new facilities, Arthur Thomspon, 88, from Skipton was getting ready to go home after spending time at Castleberg to recover and rehabilitate from his recent surgery.

“I’ve really enjoyed it here, it’s a lovely team and a lovely place,” he said.

The occasion was also marked by the presentation of a new television set for the hospital day room by members of NHS Property Services, who recently carried out a fundraising walk of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

A total of 61 members of staff took part in the walk, in extremely challenging weather, raising more than £20,000 for Carer’s Trust and The Silver Line, charities that help tackle the physical and mental health impacts from being elderly and lonely, or from being an unpaid carer.

Rhea Horlock, corporate social responsibility manager, NHS Property Services, said: “Earlier this year, 61 of our colleagues braved the wind and rain to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

“Alongside the money raised, we were delighted to also support the refurbishment of Castleberg Hospital, one of our own sites just a few miles from where we all stayed for the weekend.

“We hope that the new television in the patient day-room will enhance the patient experience for all those staying there, providing entertainment and an inviting space to socialise and relax.”

The hospital provides bed-based intermediate care – often called ‘step-up and step-down’ care – for 10 people. There are two four-bedded wards, two single rooms, and family, therapy, treatment and day rooms.

Externally, the hospital has been re-roofed and has new drainage and electricity generator, and a new external ramp to the main entrance.