‘Good’ hospital faces an uncertain future

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 has been praised by a watchdog – but its future still remains uncertain.

The hospital was given a positive endorsement by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for providing a service to patients which is effective, caring and well-led.

Giving the hospital an overall rating of ‘good’, the CQC commended the way it focused on patients’ needs.

However, while the CQC highlighted plus points about the hospital, it comes amidst a background of concern in Fleetwood about its future.

The facility, which still runs outpatients and radiology units, is now largely under-used after a number of elderly care wards were shut down several years ago.

There are plans to site 20 nurse-led beds in Fleetwood, but it has still not been confirmed whether they will be in the hospital or the Care and Well Being Centre on Dock Street.

There are fears that if those beds are not sited in the hospital, its future could be in doubt.

This week, a spokesman for the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was unable to confirm where the beds are to be sited or what the hospital’s future is.

The spokesman said: “The Trust was delighted to see that Fleetwood Hospital was given a ‘good’ rating by the Care Quality Commission for its outpatient services.

“The trust is still conducting its options appraisal of healthcare services in Fleetwood and it is expected the results of that appraisal will be finalised in the next few months. Once the work is complete the Trust and the local Clinical Commissioning Group will be engaging with key parties to discuss the findings.”

Ray Smith, of Fleetwood Against the Cuts, gathered 1,600 names on a petition to save the hospital and presented it to Eric Ollerenshaw MP.

Mr Smith said: “The findings of this report show there is good reason to keep the hospital open.

“We would ideally like to see the restoration of other services to the hospital.”

The CQC report said staff knew how to respond to vulnerable patients and also praised waiting times. However, the hospital was advised to improve patient records, which it said were not easy to follow.