Hospital respite ward to re-open

Clifton Hospital, Ansdell
Clifton Hospital, Ansdell
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Hospital bosses have confirmed a respite ward closed to create beds to cope with winter illnesses will reopen soon.

Fears had been raised the Windsor Unit at Clifton Hospital in St Annes would not reopen following the permanent closure of similar respite wards in Wesham and Rossall.

The unit has been closed since January, leaving regular users unsure as to what the future held.

Hospital bosses closed the unit to ensure staff could cope with a high volume of emergency admissions during the winter months.

But now, letters are being sent out to current respite users for new applications to use the facility.

A spokesman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Windsor Unit will re-open on May 8. All current users of the service will receive a letter inviting them to apply for up to two weeks’ respite care between May and September 2015.”

Fears had been raised by councillors and users of the ward that they were unsure whether it would reopen at any date.

Kirkham Coun Liz Oades said: “I was with a women from Kirkham the other day.

“She looks after her husband and has not had any respite for six months. She was exhausted.

“I feel this is all about money. The bean counters have come in and I fear that this unit will become another Wesham hospital, another Rossall.”

Janet Leman, of Hampstead Close, Lytham, has lived with Multiple Sclerosis for more than 30 years and relies heavily upon her husband Michael to help her through every day life.

Michael is one user in Fylde who depends on the services at Clifton Hospital for much-needed breaks from care.

He said: “It’s great news, I am very happy we can get back to normal life.”