Paralysis patient backs cuts probe

June Wilbraham of Sandy Lane, Preesall
June Wilbraham of Sandy Lane, Preesall
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A PARALYSIS patient who was receiving treatment at a hospital closed as part of government cuts has backed calls for an investigation.

June Wilbraham, 56, was struck down by Guillain-Barré syndrome which causes muscle weakness and paralysis in October last year.

Following weeks without rehabilitation she was finally admitted to Wesham Hospital but later transferred to Clifton Hospital when it closed in January.

This week The Gazette reported a leaked document which revealed hospital chiefs tried to bypass public consultation before closing the hospital.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has now called for an immediate investigation into their actions.

June, who lives in Preesall, said it was wrong to even think about not consulting the public.

She said; “I saw first hand the impact the hospital closure had, not just on patients but on the staff as well.

“Everyone was very upset, it is a vital facility and one that I cannot believe was considered for closure however much money is needed.”

June, a health care worker, said she was devastated when she found out the hospital would close.

She said: “When I was first struck down with Guillain-Barré I had to wait five weeks for rehabilitation because we couldn’t find a hospital which would take me on.

“Apparently my age and the fact that I was completely paralysed from my waist down meant most community hospitals couldn’t care for me.

“It was the worst five weeks of my life, I didn’t know what was happening, I felt very alone and useless because there was nothing I could do.

“When I was told I would be looked after at Wesham I was so relieved and when I got there the care was second to none, it was amazing.”

June, a health care worker, said she has now checked herself out of Clifton Hospital as she would rather recover at home.

She said: “Because Wesham was so good and so homely it felt like I was being forced to leave my second home.

“The staff were fantastic and everyone was so upset at what was being forced upon them.

“When I was told I would be transferred to Clifton my first reaction was to go home but staff assured me it would be OK.

“As soon as I arrived though I knew it wasn’t going to be OK, I was back on a huge ward and the staff had too much to do, I felt sorry for them.”

Wesham Hospital closed as part of a £6m savings review by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust.

The 40-bed rehabilitation unit was used to treat patients with acute illnesses who require further rehab before they go home.