DCSIMG

Dementia centre idea for Rossall Hospital

Rossall Hospital Rehabilitation Unit

Rossall Hospital Rehabilitation Unit

A new state of the art dementia centre is the latest in a long line of ideas that would see Rossall Hospital continue to offer medical services.

The hospital’s future remains unclear after a year that saw it closed despite the protests of Fleetwood residents.

And now Wyre Council leader Peter Gibson has suggested that if plans for a dementia “centre of excellence” in Garstang have stalled, the money could be put to good use in Fleetwood instead.

A proposal to upgrade the Bowgreave Rise site was deemed to expensive by Lancashire County Council bosses last year but there is still £5m available to invest in dementia services.

Coun Gibson has called for decision makers at County Hall to make sure the money gets spent in Wyre – and touted Rossall Hospital as an ideal location for a new centre.

He said: “Obviously we were disappointed that the dementia centre is not going ahead in Garstang.

“But according to the county council there is still £5m in the budget for a centre of excellence so I am asking if they will look at Wyre.

“If they are going to spend this money we should have it here – at Rossall Hospital there is an opportunity to do that.”

Coun Gibson also challenged the council to show it is not ignoring the west of the county with its investment.

He added: “Since Labour has been in power they seem to have spent all the money in East Lancashire.

“The county council has simply said the money is staying in the budget and they will look at providing a facility.

“Rossall Hospital was just one place that jumped into my head and there may be other facilities that could be suitable.”

The plans were first unveiled this time last year as part of the previous county council administration’s budget.

However, when Labour took control in May, bosses ordered a review of the proposal, which was then put on hold. A review of options for investing the £5m is ongoing and a report is due to be presented to councillors in the coming months.

Coun Tony Martin, county council cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “We are committed to using the £5m to improve dementia services across the county and this will not be affected by the £300m budget cut imposed by central government.

“We are now looking at options that will achieve the maximum benefit from this investment. I’ll consider proposals from officers when they have completed that work.”

Late last year it was announced that Rossall Hospital, which closed in August, was to reopen temporarily to ease the pressure on Blackpool Victoria Hospital over the winter.

The facility has also been put forward as a possible destination for 20 rehabilitation beds that have been earmarked for the port, although no final decision has yet been taken on where they will go.

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