The future of older people’s rehabilitation at three hospitals in Fylde has been settled – with plans to move services from two medical centres into one given the go-ahead.
Following a three month consultation period, NHS groups have agreed to move all rehabilitation services from Rossall Hospital and Wesham Hospital, which was mothballed in 2010, to Clifton Hospital in St Annes, leaving the elderly facing extensive trips from north and rural Fylde for treatment.
Kirkham Coun Liz Oades, who campaigned strongly for the Wesham site to be re-opened, slammed the decision as an “absolute disgrace”, as elderly patients are faced with longer journeys.
She added: “It was a fait accompli before the consultation even began – it was a farce. It’s an absolute disgrace.
“It’s all about finances and pleasing consultants, rather than the people, who should be the priority.
“I do not care what they are saying – if patients cannot get there to the hospital then what is the point?”
In the findings, released yesterday, it was confirmed Clifton Hospital will undergo refurbishment ahead of the move, with patients moved from Rossall Hospital to Clifton Hospital from August 1.
An investment of £3.6m will also be made in rehabilitation services in Fylde.
Dr Mark O’Donnell, medical director of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said: “By concentrating our resources and expertise on one site we will be able to provide more time delivering direct patient care, leading to better outcomes and shorter lengths of stay for patients.”
A spokeswoman for the trust said discussions are on-going about the potential future uses of the sites at Wesham and Rossall. It was also confirmed Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would look at establishing a non-consultant led service in north Fylde.