Hospital is sold for £1.5 million

Bispham Hospital
Bispham Hospital
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Bispham Hospital has been sold for around £1.5 million.

The former Blackpool Teaching NHS Trust facility, used for rehabilitation until it closed in April, is now expected to reopen as a care home from December.

It had been put up for sale earlier this year in a bid to balance the books amid huge budget cuts.

Thirty jobs will be created, while work to extend the building to include 40 bedrooms is also set to start.

Tracey Bush, chief executive officer at Spiral Health, the community interest company that will run the home, said: “As a social enterprise we pride outselves on being autonomous, innovative, flexible, and responsive to the needs of the people.

“We look forward to adding social value to the area by creating sustainable employment.”

The Gazette revealed in June how the sale of the hospital, which the trust had hoped to complete by the end of the financial year, was nearing completion.

Health bosses were saying little about the deal, only that negotiations were ongoing and contracts were due to be exchanged.

It was unable to say who the prospective buyer is, though it was understood to be Spiral Health, which was contracted to provide rehabilitation care at the hospital until April, when the trust pulled out of the agreement.

The building was bought by Eric Wright Health and Care, which will run it in partnership with Spiral.

Director Christine Winstanley said: “Our involvement in taking on this existing facility and converting it into an intermediate and residential care facility will ensure that we continue to build on the legacy of Spiral Health’s service provision in Bispham, extending therapy and support to residential care for local people with a broad range of needs.”

Blackpool North and Cleveleys Conservative MP, Paul Maynard, who was angered at the trust’s contract being scrapped – calling it a ‘success story’ – has backed Spiral’s plans to offer specialist dementia care and intermediate care – for those leaving hospital but not quite fit enough to go home

He said: “It’s essential that care provision evolves to meet the needs of local people and the refurbishment of Bispham Rehabilitation Centre as a nursing home with specialist provision will help to achieve this for local people.”

Plans to sell Bispham Hospital were revealed in January, to anger and concern.

Rehabilitation care was brought ‘in-house’ by the trust, while Rossall Rossall Hospital was also sold, to Belsfield Care Limited, last year for £975,000.

A spokesman said at the time: “The health and social care community is working to implement new models of care for rehabilitation services and Bispham Hospital is no longer required.”