Ribble Valley MP, Nigel Evans has expressed his profound disappointment for closure plans of Calderstones Hospital site in Whalley, which has left much uncertainty with local residents about the future of its historic site and workforce. There have been recent updates that around 900 staff have been transferred to the new employer, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. However, there is much unease as it is believed that around 600 jobs could be lost.
“The facility must not be lost. We have some fantastic expertise in there helping the most vulnerable in our society and I am hoping there will be an alternative use for the buildings, some of which are brand new.”
Not only has Calderstones provided high quality care for people with both learning disabilities and developmental disorders over the years, but it is also able to accommodate over 200 patients. In 2016 the Care Quality Commission assessed Calderstones as Good across all areas. In addition to this the Department of Health placed the Trust at 27th out of 230 organisations nationally for its levels of safety, openness and transparency. So it comes as no surprise that further doubt has been surfaced by Union chiefs at UNISON, representing the staff at Calderstones, who are calling on Mersey Care and NHS England to re-think the closure plans.
Nigel went on to say,
“I have my doubts about the capacity in community care. I understand that health bosses are enthusiastic about the idea, but there are some patients that require regular care which cannot always be offered in the community.”
NHS England and Mersey Care do intend to build new accommodation elsewhere in the North West but as of yet, these locations are still to be determined.