A hospital bed has been found for a 20-year-old woman who was fighting serious illness at home because there were not enough nurses at a special hospital unit.

Katherine Ireland, of Cononley, near Skipton, who suffers from cystic fibrosis and is awaiting a lung transplant, has been found a bed in Seacroft Hospital, Leeds, where she is being treated for a chest infection. She was admitted to the unit on Monday after doctors examined her and found her weight had plunged to about six stone - well below her ideal weight of about seven and a half stones.

Until then Katherine - who was given 18 months to live in 1997 and had been ill for several days - had been looked after at home by her mother, Jan, and father David.

Cystic fibrosis sufferer Sharon Carter, 20, of Idle, Bradford, who is also awaiting a lung transplant, said she had just returned from four days on the general wards at Seacroft because there was no room in the special unit.

"I would have stayed longer in hospital if there was space in the unit because the general wards are not suitable - they don't have the specialist nurses," she said.

Seacroft is having difficulty recruiting specialist nurses to staff additional new cystic fibrosis units which have just been completed but are not in use.

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