12th May 2015 – Local sport hero Jonny Brownlee opens Airedale’s Emergency Department
World champion triathlete Jonny Brownlee officially opened Airedale Hospital’s new Emergency Department today.
He was chosen by health staff as their local sports hero to help them celebrate reaching the £100,000 target for their Emergency Department Appeal.
Jonny cut a ribbon at the entrance to the new department and a new plaque naming him as the guest who officially opened it has been placed on a mural featuring a bicycle against a tree with leaves highlighting some of the donors. He was then given a tour of the new department and staff had the chance to meet and chat to him.
Bridget Fletcher, chief executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our new Emergency Department has been a fantastic achievement and we are delighted that Jonny could join us as a special guest.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to all sponsors, the businesses, members of the community, families and our staff who have supported our appeal so generously.”
Meg Crossley, consultant in emergency medicine, said the success of their venture had been down to team work including those who build and designed the new department and those who will now deliver care in it.
She said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed by our fundraising success. In all honesty I did not expect to get such an amazing response and reach our target which has allowed us to buy some state-of-the-art equipment.
“The whole design of the department has been truly patient focused.”
Jonny Brownlee thanked the emergency care team for inviting him to officially open the new department and congratulated them on their fundraising effort. He said: “It’s an incredible achievement to have raised your target. I cycle in this area a lot and it’s wonderful to see such great facilities which will benefit the local community.”
Other guests at the event included the original sponsors and supporters of the appeal – Barbara Hodkinson, founder of the national Butterfly Scheme which helps hospital staff to care for and improve the health and wellbeing for patients with dementia; Ann Christian associate at LCF law firm, Malcolm Weaving owner of Rendez Vous Hotel, in Skipton and Eileen Proud, chair of Friends of Airedale and Mike Yates, chair of Airedale New Venture – the hospital’s two charities. The Keighley News nominated the appeal as its charity of they year and both Skipton Craven and Keighley Rotary Clubs generously supported the Appeal.
Born in Bramhope, Jonny is 2012 Triathlon World Champion and Olympic Triathlon Bronze medallist. He was educated at Bradford Grammar School before attending the University of Leeds. He used to swim for Aireborough Swimming club and is a member of the Bingley Harriers.
The Emergency Department Appeal was launched just over a year ago. The funds have been used for resources for our new state-of-the-art department including distraction walls, an interactive floor for the children’s waiting area, sky ceilings, equipment and facilities to help patients with dementia and cardiac monitors for the general assessment areas.
The new £6m Emergency Department opened its doors in December 2014. It provides much improved facilities including separate adult and children’s waiting areas, a quiet room for friends and families to use during stressful events and better privacy and dignity for vulnerable older patients and their families and carers. During the past financial year, there were 53,489 people visiting Airedale A&E Department and 5,012 that were aged 5 and under. On a busy day over 200 patients and their families attend the ED.