NHS plans to reopen Wesham rehabilitation unit after more than eight years

A Fylde rehabilitation unit which has been closed for more than eight years could be reopened as a “community-facing rehabilitation service” if plans by Lancashire's mental health trust go ahead.

Plans have been submitted by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust for the Wesham Hospital Rehabilitation Unit, in Mowbreck Lane, Wesham.

The trust has submitted 32 documents to Fylde Council's planning officers outlining its proposals to reopen the unit which has been vandalised during the years it has been closed.

The plans include the redevelopment of the existing NHS rehabilitation hospital site with a full refurbishment. Some of the key parts in the planning application include new single storey extensions, additional car parking spaces and new fencing to the site internally. The proposal also includes retaining existing site boundary walls and fencing.

Plans have been submitted to Fylde Council

As part of the design and access statement in the planning documents, it states: "The applicant, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS foundation Trust, wish to provide an asset on this existing NHS site that will allow them to deliver the best possible care to meet the increasing needs of the community through enhanced facilities.

"The service will ensure seamless transitions from inpatient care towards community life via establishment of strong links, collaboration and partnership working with the inpatient wards, other agencies and organisations across the care pathways."

It added: "The model of rehabilitation care for this facility will focuse on empowering the service user to gain or recover their confidence and skills that promote independence, autonomy and encourage hope for the future"

Other parts of the plans show that a therapy garden and children's visitor garden would be created and the facility would provide accommodation for 28 patients.

How the refurbished rehabilitation unit in Wesham could look

The unit closed as part of a £6m savings review by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust in 2011, after only being opened eleven years prior.

The trust came under intense criticism for closing the rehabilitation centre nearly without consulting with people first.

An internal document revealed in 2012 that hospital bosses had sought legal advice to see whether they could shut the facility without asking for the public’s views. But they were told the scheme had to go out to public consultation.

Health chiefs insisted the moves were designed to streamline services and were not proposed to save money.

The unit has been closed for nearly nine years and has overgrown and been damaged during those years.

Bosses claimed the greater facilities at Clifton Hospital in St Annes would reduce time in hospital and more support would be offered to patients and their families within their homes.