Hospital closure concern

Rossall Hospital
Rossall Hospital

FLEETWOOD Town Council is calling for clarity over the fate of Rossall Hospital after rumours of its imminent closure swept the town.

The council has asked Fleetwood’s MP Eric Ollerenshaw to look at the situation after meeting with him on Friday last week.

And Town Council chairman Coun Alan Marsh called for clarity over what is going on.

He told the Weekly News: “If Rossall Hospital were to close it could mean elderly Fleetwood people with health issues having to travel all the way to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

“We have been told there is on-going consultation about this, but I am not seeing much consultation.

“People in Fleetwood are getting concerned and we need to know what is going on.

“When there is a lack of proper information, rumours, fear and confusion are the result.

“That is why we felt we had to ask our MP to look into it.”

Built in the late 1990s to provide local health services for Fleetwood, Rossall Hospital Rehabilitation Unit has facilities to care for 40 inpatients.

It is aimed at helping patients attain physical and emotional recovery from their ailments, so they can achieve independence again.

The unit, on Fleetwood’s seafront at Rossall, is part of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre NHS Foundation Trust.

The Weekly News has also received a letter from a “concerned member of the public” which states that worried staff there believe there are plans to move the orthopaedic ward at Clifton Hospital to Blackpool Victoria, leaving two empty wards there which could accommodate the Rossall patients.

Mr Ollerenshaw said: “I fully understand the concerns raised by Fleetwood Town Council.

“Rossall Hospital was purpose-built, not too long ago, to provide local treatment after a need for that was identified.

“To now expect elderly people to travel to Blackpool for that service is worrying.

“I am looking into this to find out exactly what is going on, in regard to both this specific issue and the current financial background of the hospital trust.”

A statement was released to the Weekly News by NHS Blackpool, NHS North Lancashire, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Care Trust.

The statement said: “A public consultation is being prepared looking at the future five year strategy for health services across the Fylde coast and is set to be launched in the autumn.

“This latest consultation is being prepared in response to the views of patients from the national listening exercise ‘Your Health, Your Care, Your Say’ and the changing national health agenda and will look at how we can provide better care, closer to people’s homes, at best cost.

“A review of the NHS estate and the services provided is under way to look at how we can maximise its use to best meet the needs of patients now and in the future.

“A document is being prepared which will outline a range of options which will be subject to full public consultation. As soon as this document is finalised we will be sharing it widely with staff, patients, public and stakeholders and actively seeking their views.

“The consultation process will be led by NHS Blackpool and NHS North Lancashire, in partnership with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and Lancashire Care Trust. A number of public consultation events will be held and details of these will be advertised in due course.”