Anger after Wesham rehab decision

Wesham Hospital
Wesham Hospital
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Clifton Hospital in St Annes is to take on rehabilitation services from two other hospitals, sparking anger in Wesham and Fleetwood.

Following a three-month consultation period, NHS groups have agreed to move all rehabilitation services from Wesham Hospital, which was mothballed in 2010, and Rossall Hospital to Clifton, leaving the elderly facing extensive trips from rural and north Fylde for treatment.

Kirkham Coun Liz Oades, who campaigned strongly for the Wesham site to be re-opened, slammed the decision as an “absolute disgrace”, as elderly patients are faced with longer journeys.

She added: “It was a fait accompli before the consultation even began – it was a farce. It’s an absolute disgrace.

“It’s all about finances and pleasing consultants, rather than the people, who should be the priority.

“I do not care what they are saying – if patients cannot get there to the hospital then what is the point?”

In the findings, released on Friday, it was confirmed Clifton Hospital will undergo refurbishment ahead of the move, with patients moved from Rossall Hospital to Clifton Hospital from August 1.

An investment of £3.6m will also be made in rehabilitation services in Fylde.

Dr Mark O’Donnell, medical director of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said: “By concentrating our resources and expertise on one site we will be able to provide more time delivering direct patient care, leading to better outcomes and shorter lengths of stay for patients.”

A spokeswoman for the trust said discussions are on-going about the potential future uses of the sites at Wesham and Rossall.