Parliament is in recess so I‘ve been in Pendle all week catching up with my constituency work.
For any readers with relatives that fought and gave their lives for our country, the Armed Forces Support Group based in Barrowford are on the lookout for anyone from Pendle whose name should be added to the Nelson War Memorial. So far, they have already identified four people whose names may now be added to the Memorial and corrected an error that was brought to my attention by a relative. Do get in touch if you know of anyone whose service should be recognised.
I’ve been pleased to visit Airedale Hospital several times in recent months and have been working to back the campaign being led by the Keighley MP Robbie Moore MP for a total rebuild of the hospital. Airedale is the main local hospital for West Craven and many who live in Colne, Foulridge and the villages.
Like other nearby hospitals, it saw an increase in patients following the regrettably closure of Burnley’s A&E in 2007, and I’ve been working hard to secure investment for the hospital consistently since I was first elected back in 2010. A brand new state-of-the-art £6.3 million A&E opened at Airedale back in 2014 and a new £7 million acute assessment unit was opened in 2018. Most recently a new £16m award-winning Intensive Care Unit was opened earlier this year.
However, the age and condition of the hospital’s infrastructure means a major investment is needed – and urgently. The oldest parts of the hospital were made out of aerated concrete, which has been associated with the collapse of a school building, and the roof is considered the leakiest roof in the NHS! Opened back in 1970, by King Charles III no less when he was the Prince of Wales, the hospital’s infrastructure wasn’t built to last this long and is now overdue for renewal.
That's why I, Robbie, and other local MPs are pushing Health Ministers, the Treasury and the Prime Minister hard to get this issue addressed. The campaign is ongoing and will be until Airedale Hospital has the funding it needs for its rebuild, making the hospital safe and efficient for patients and the incredible NHS staff who work there.