£13.5m children’s unit opens after donations

The new Children's Ward at Blackpool Victoria Hospital was officially opened
The new Children's Ward at Blackpool Victoria Hospital was officially opened
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AN amazing legacy left by Fylde coast residents came full circle when the £13.5m Children’s Unit officially opened at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Three local men left huge amounts of money to the hospital in their wills which led to the new unit being built.

Frank and James Hargreaves, from Carleton, gave more than £2m and Peter Roy Evans, from Out Rawcliffe, left £240,000 to help children.

And today, as the League Of Friends, who gave the cash to the hospital on behalf of the men, cut the ribbon on the state-of-the-art unit, they told of their pride.

Chairman Larry O’Hara said: “Three years ago Mr Evans left every penny he had down to us to benefit our children.

“We wanted to create the most modern children’s unit in the North West, possibly in the country and looking round today I think Mr Evans and the Hargreaves’ brothers would be delighted.”

The cash allowed the new unit to be completed on time after the current financial climate meant the final phase of the build was put on hold.

And local families who are now benefiting from the sparkling new facilities today heaped praise on the new unit.

Jack Morrison, 12, was first admitted last year after breaking his arm.

He told The Gazette: “When I came in last May it was really different, I didn’t have my own room or toilet but now I have my own privacy and I can watch TV and play games.”

His mum Julie added: “It has made a huge difference being able to stay with him while he has been in, it used to be exhausting, it has really improved.”

The centre, which replaced the outdated Victoria wards boasts a new Adolescent Unit in the former Special Care Baby Unit.

It boasts seven en-suite bedrooms and a lounge area.

Ward B has been redeveloped to provide children’s assessment areas including bays for beds, three single rooms, facilities for relatives, three treatment rooms and a play room.

A new children’s ward has also been built nearby with two four-bed bays, six single rooms, space for relatives and a high care facility.

The League of Friends has also donated an extra £210,000 to provide a new playroom and dining area for the unit.