SKIPTON MP Julian Smith received an update on plans for the re-build of Airedale Hospital during a recent visit.

Mr Smith discussed the plans with Foluke Ajayi, Chief Executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, and was also given a tour of the Steeton hospital to see what work was taking place to mitigate the risks from reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

In May, it was announced that Airedale was the latest addition to the Government’s New Hospital Programme, backed by more than £20 billion of investment in hospital infrastructure. Work is now underway on a new, state-of-the-art, 500-bed hospital, to be completed by 2030.

Additional funding was released earlier this year for the trust to start the enabling works necessary to prepare the site for construction.

Mr Smith said, “It was really useful to meet with Foluke and get an update on the progress of the new hospital.

“Airedale’s inclusion in the New Hospital Programme is a massive win for residents across the Craven-area. Patients deserve access to exceptional care and our fantastic doctors, nurses and NHS staff deserve to work in a world-class environment.

“Given the widespread presence of RAAC at Airedale, the need to get on with delivering this new hospital has never been more apparent. I am really grateful to Richard Burgin for showing me around and for highlighting the extraordinary steps he and his team are taking to mitigate both the very real risk of RAAC and the impact this subsequently has on patient care.”