MP signals his doubts over future of hospital

The closure of Manx ward at Fleetwood Hospital has led to jobs fears.
The closure of Manx ward at Fleetwood Hospital has led to jobs fears.

‘Fleetwood Hospital cannot continue to be so under-used’ – That is the stark warning today from Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw.

Fleetwood Hospital cannot continue to be so under-used and the money spent on it would be better used on actual services.

That is the stark warning today from Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw.

It is the clearest indication yet that Fleetwood is likely to lose another major health facility, after the closure of Rossall Hospital in August.

Mr Ollerenshaw believes it simply isn’t viable to have both the hospital and the health and wellbeing centre on Dock Street in a “half empty” state.

And he says that because only minor procedures take place at the hospital, it does not make sense financial sense to retain it long term.

His comments came as a surprise to campaigners who are fighting to keep the hospital open and campaigner Ray Smith, who has set up a 1,000-plus name petition, says the hospital needs to be safeguarded.

The MP was commenting on the fact that 20 nurse-led beds, to care for elderly people in rehabilitation, would be coming to either the hospital or the Dock Street centre.

He states in his latest Weekly News column: “It would appear that both sites are ‘physically’ capable of taking the beds as both are currently under-occupied, but even with the beds it will still leave a large amount of empty space in both buildings.

“As I have been saying for some time we cannot go on with public funds maintaining half empty buildings rather than paying for much needed services, so the Trust, the Commissioners, the GPs have got to come up with a plan at some point that rationalises these buildings, in order to release more money for the services we need in Fleetwood.”