A NEW accident and emergency department at Airedale Hospital due to open in October will benefit Pendle residents, according to MP Andrew Stephenson.

Mr Stephenson toured the new facility and said it was ‘rapidly taking shape’ before it opens to the public later this year.

The development will see more than double the size of the A&E department.

It will mean that many more patients could opt to be treated there rather than Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Mr Stephenson said: “I was delighted to see progress made on the new emergency department and be updated on how the new facilities will benefit local residents.

“Many Pendle residents, particularly those living in Barnoldswick and Earby, use Airedale Hospital, so the new A&E department is very welcome.

“The new emergency department is just the latest in a succession of major investments at the award-winning hospital, and huge credit should be given to all the staff who have made this possible.”

The unit will create separate adult and children’s waiting areas, a quiet room for friends and families to use and a separate screened entrance for ambulances.

Treatment rooms will also be fitted with new technology allowing A&E staff to see the results of X-rays and blood tests at the patient’s bedside.

Dr Meg Crossley, a consultant in emergency medicine at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and clinical lead for the project, said: “The new A&E department will be a huge improvement on our current facilities, which were designed and built in the 1960s when not only were we seeing far fewer patients but the way we treated them was vastly different.

“The existing A&E department deals with more than 55,000 patients every year and staff struggle daily to find enough room to see and treat patients.

“Technology now plays a much bigger role in treating emergency patients and the small cubicles we have cannot accommodate equipment we now use.”