This Lancashire hospital building is back in use after eight years after £9.4m project is completed

A hospital building that had stood empty for eight years has been revamped and handed back to the NHS.

By Tim Gavell
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 3:30 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 6:29 pm

Following a £9.4m refurbishment, the Wesham Rehabilitation Centre now aims to provide inspiring mental health rehabilitation for patients in Lancashire.

The former rehabilitation centre, a remnant of the wider Wesham Hospital site closed in 2012, fell out of use when the NHS transferred its services and those of a similar unit in Rossall to the Clifton Hospital in St Annes.

Now a “community facing rehabilitation service” will be based in the refurbished building on Mowbreck Lane, which includes a modern, timber-clad extension.

Wesham Rehabilitation Centre has been handed over to the NHS after a £9.4m revamp by Frank Whittle Partnerships and Eric Wright Group

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It has 28 en-suite bedrooms for people who have been in hospital and need support to regain skills and confidence with everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning and looking after their own health and wellbeing.

The centre has expansive gardens and outdoor therapy areas and includes quiet lounges and a MasterChef style communal kitchen where residents can cook all their own meals with staff support.

Community space has also been included within the new entrance block to encourage use of the centre by local people, in partnership with the trust.

It will be a "community-facing rehabilitation service" with an informal non-clinical feel

Joanna Stark, director of operations for the Fylde Coast at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust , said: “We are incredibly proud to launch this new offering to our service users and to help bridge the gap between acute treatment and re-integrating people back into the community.

“The service will have a positive impact on existing service users and benefit new service users in need of a different kind of support.

"We aim to help people with long-term mental health conditions, manage their own care and give them back the independence and lifestyle they deserve.

“Our team and partners have worked incredibly hard over the past two years to open the Wesham Rehabilitation Centre, a service that hopes to involve neighbours when we open our doors for local community events.

“We hope the Wesham centre will pave the way for future mental health rehabilitation services across the region.”

Architect, design and master-planning practice Frank Whittle Partnership, of Preston, was appointed to deliver the £9.4m centre and led on the redevelopment of the existing building. The construction work on the project was carried out by the Eric Wright Group.

Martin Whittle, FWP partner, said: “We have used all our experience that we have built up in the mental health sector over several years to deliver this important community project.

“It really is a showcase of how far mental health design has progressed in recent years and the leading role FWP’s specialist team has played in that development.

“The team involved has worked extremely hard with the trust to create a unit that is both warm and welcoming and has a distinct non-clinical feel throughout.

“We believe the result is a stand-out facility that will help people to live independent lives back in the community.”

David Simmons, FWP associate partner, added: “User and clinical engagement meetings have allowed the design to evolve into a unit that is totally removed from people’s traditional view of a hospital environment.

“Our design encompasses lots of open access spaces, a reception area that is warm and welcoming, a central living space that contacts the two bedrooms wings which is a truly uplifting space for day-to-day relaxing and engagement with full access to an exceptional garden where residents can grow and nurture their own produce.

“The centre is also working with a local charity to encourage residents to get involved in growing produce in the standout therapy gardens that have been created. Produce grown by the residents can be then cooked in the impressive Master Chef style kitchens and later sold in the community café with the centre entrance.