Publish date: 6 June 2022
As many people marked 70 years since the Queen's Coronation, we marked more than a century of care at our hospital in Whalley. Mersey Care was part of a huge village Jubilee 'picnic in the park'. It was held on what used to be the cricket pitch when the hospital was much larger and included the modern housing estate. As people dined and listened to the musicians, amongst stalls, displays, games and food outlets, our marquee exhibited old items, photos and history boards about the site. Panels described the story of the hospital's time receiving the soldiers of the Somme and again supporting injured combatants in the Second World War.
Also the famous scale model of the whole estate, as it was at its fullest extent around 1985, was on display. This gave residents of the 'new' estate chance to see what was on the land their homes were built on 20 years ago. The model was brought up to the event by facilities colleagues (to whom much thanks is given!).
As well as celebrating the past, scores of people including councillors and community leaders were able to ask about future plans. This engagement was one of the main intentions of the day. We also wanted to continue to give staff and our services a strong and dignified presence in the local community even as things change. This was another important chance to continue to destigmatise forensic learning disability care and explain the specialism of what we do.
The Whalley site itself is expected to transfer to Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS later this year, following the national consultation on LD provision. Mersey Care will continue to use some areas until our services move to the new low secure hospital in Maghull in 2023.
A valedictory service for the old chapel on site, St Luke's, will be held next Monday afternoon at 2.30pm. Details about both events from John Rowbotham.