Blackpool's Parkwood hospital maybe set to reopen
The former Parkwood mental health hospital in Blackpool is a prime candidate to be reopened as part of a multi-million pound investment in the NHS on the Fylde coast.
Health chiefs have confirmed they are looking at using some of the £21m being given to the trusts that run Blackpool Victoria Hospital and the Harbour to refurbish Parkwood.
The Government has awarded £8.1m to Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services across Lancashire, to create an “acute mental health hub”. The trust confirmed Parkwood was one of two buildings being considered for the services but declined to say what the other potential site was.
It is understood there is internal support for reopening Parkwood but the trust said a final decision has yet to be made.
A further £12.9m has been given to Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to upgrade the emergency department.
A spokesman for Lancashire Care said the two trusts would work together “to make best use of available space” and said there were “various options” for how Parkwood could be put to good use.
The Government cash is earmarked for capital projects and cannot be used to recruit additional staff. A Blackpool Teaching hospitals spokesman said the trust’s plans involve “extensive building work and new equipment”. It is not clear when the funding will be made available to the trusts.
Parkwood, which was not originally built to provide mental health services, had been called “not fit for purpose” by health chiefs before it shut.
Following the opening of the Harbour, on Preston New Road, in March 2015 to provide much needed services, the facility was closed.