New health centre puzzle

3D artists impression of the new mental health inpatient hospital to be built at Whyndyke Farm, Marton
3D artists impression of the new mental health inpatient hospital to be built at Whyndyke Farm, Marton
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A HEALTH boss has revealed he does not know if a £40m mental health centre is going ahead in Blackpool.

Alistair Rose, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s project director for the Whyndyke Farm inpatient unit, could not confirm or deny if it would be built during a Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting.

At the Blackpool Council meeting, Mr Rose was asked by Coun Joe Best if the Whyndyke Farm site, on Preston New Road in Blackpool would be constructed.

Mr Rose said: “It’s a tough one to answer and one I don’t think I can without reverting to personal opinions, which I don’t think is fair.

“Clearly there is a need to help improve mental health service provision and hopefully how we do that will be determined in the near future.”

The new £40m unit has caused concern amongst residents living close to the site.

Many felt it would cause major traffic disruptions on Preston New Road and affect wildlife in the area.

Builders have been scheduled to start work in the Spring, but the only work completed so far has been the draining of water and removing hedges.

Whyndyke Farm would replace the Parkwood unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital as well as wards at Lytham Hospital and Fleetwood Hospital, the current facilities offering treatment for people with mental health problems.

But work is still continuing to determine the size of the project, including how many beds will be needed for the unit.

Mr Rose added: “At the moment we are not at the point of knowing how the numbers will turn out.

“If there are going to be significant changes then this means more consultation and agreement with the public.”

Bosses regularly meet with residents to ensure there are no issues arising from building activity taking place, and to inform people of the timescales for the full construction work. Residents can raise any queries or concerns at the next public meeting on Thursday, February 10 at Clifton Christian Centre on Langdale Road in Blackpool from 4pm to 6pm.

Mr Rose added: “We have committed to go back to them in February and will speak to them at county level rather than not at all.”