Calderstones hospital to be closed
Following the results of an NHS England consultation with family members, a decision has been made to close Mersey Care Whalley, formerly known as Calderstones Hospital. The closure will be a positive step towards the Government's Transforming Care ambitions of moving people with learning disabiities away from long-stay inpatient units back into the community.
Calderstones Hospital is one of the last remaining long-stay inpatient units for people with learning disabilities in the NHS. It was orignally marked for closure after a review by Sir Stephen Bubb into services for people with learning disability published in early 2015. At the time, he publicly advised that all "large institutions" such as Calderstones Hospital should be shut down in favour of smaller units and community placements.
The current residents in the 220 bed hospital will be helped to either move back into the community or into a smaller unit depending on the level of their needs. The closure is expected to be carried out before 2019.
In a statement with Jan Tregelles from Mencap, our CEO Vivien Cooper commented:
"The closure of Calderstones is an important step towards NHS England’s commitment in changing the way we care for people with a learning disability.
“But this positive news will be undermined if the arrangements that are put in place are based on the wrong model of care and not in line with the Government and NHS England’s own guidelines. This must include an appropriately skilled workforce and housing to meet people's needs to ensure people get the right support in the right place at the right time.
“Numerous targets and plans have been set out over the last 5 years promising change for people stuck in inpatient settings, often hundreds of miles from home and at increased risk of abuse and neglect. After the closure of Calderstones NHS England must now step up to deliver its commitment to close 35-50% of inpatient beds by 2019, by ensuring good local support is developed to in place of the out-dated, institutional care that should have been closed down decades ago.”