A grandmother who needs regular hospital care has added her voice to calls for a ward where she is treated to be left alone.

Christine Pattinson, 62, of Swainhouse, Bradford, suffers from a condition called Scleroderma, a disease of the immune system and needs inpatient treatment every three months.

For the last 15 years she has received that treatment on ward F4 at St Luke’s Hospital, a ward which treats dermatology and rheumatology patients. But during a recent hospital stay, she was told the ward was under threat and patients would receive their care at Bradford Royal Infirmary in future, leaving her fearful for her treatment.

Her fears echo those of dermatology patient Stephen Holmes, of Farfield Crescent, Bradford, who spoke to the Telegraph & Argus to tell of his devastation at planned changes to F4, a ward he calls his haven.

Mrs Pattinson said: “This ward is also shared with rheumatology, where a wonderful team of consultants, doctors and nurses treat all kinds of arthritic conditions, not only the well known ones, but very complex ones, such as Lupus, Raynaud’s and Scleroderma. These are very disabling and can be life-threatening.

“We’re like an extended family, most of the patients know each other, the staff know us well and understand our illnesses. But for their knowledge and care, I would most likely have lost my feet.

Mrs Pattinson said a lot of patients would suffer as they would not go to BRI for treatment, as it was inaccessible, has poor parking and patients feared being put on wards where fellow patients and staff did not understand their conditions.

“None of us want to go, we’re all worried about it,” she added. “Please leave well alone and leave F4 as it is. It is home-from-home for many long-term ill people.”

A spokesman for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We want to emphasise that the specialist services on F4 will be retained and developed for patients whose treatment is best delivered on an outpatient or day-case basis.

“Those patients who require an overnight stay and the full back-up of critical care support, pathology, imaging and 24/7 senior medical input will be admitted to a new specialist area at the BRI where this essential back-up is available.

“We have developed rheumatology services in Bradford to provide specialist care that is not readily available at some other local hospitals.

“We would like to stress that we are currently working through the practicalities of moving these beds for the acutely unwell to the BRI site. “Once a final decision and plans have been made, this will be communicated to staff and patients.”