Rehabilitation unit has uncertain future

Leigh Infirmary, where the Taylor Unit is located
Leigh Infirmary, where the Taylor Unit is located

A rehabilitation unit helping patients get back on their feet after serious brain injuries and strokes faces an uncertain future.

The Taylor Unit, based at Leigh Infirmary, is currently under review as it does not meet the agreed regional standards, health bosses have admitted.

WWL, who currently provide the service, have served us notice and so we are reviewing the future of the Taylor Unit.

Dr Tim Dalton

The facility could be axed as it does not have facilities to provide emergency care, raising the potential spectre of job losses and treatments being transferred out of the borough.

The shock revelation, raising the possibility the current facility could shut next spring, has caused deep concern among locals who have seen the staff’s work caring for friends or relatives.

Talks are now under way between NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the service, to find a way forward.

Dr Tim Dalton, local GP and chairman of the CCG, said: “The Taylor Unit at Leigh Infirmary treats patients who are recovering from serious brain injuries and strokes.

“The unit is part of the Greater Manchester neuro-rehabilitation system and Wigan and Bolton patients are transferred there from the Salford Royal Hospital.

“While the unit offers high quality care to patients, it doesn’t meet the agreed Greater Manchester standards for this type of service as it doesn’t have ready access to facilities to treat patients in need of emergency care.

“WWL, who currently provide the service, have served us notice and so we are reviewing the future of the Taylor Unit.

“This review is part of a broader review of the wider Greater Manchester service.

“Over the coming months we will be working closely with partners including Bolton CCG and talking to patients, families and residents to understand how we can make sure that the future of this service meets the needs of patients and delivers safe, high quality care that fulfils the GM standards.”

The Taylor Unit opened in 1994 and provides help for people who have been in hospital to rediscover the skills they need to live more independently back in the community.

Winstanley resident Julie Nicholson, who regularly visited a friend who had a lengthy stay at the unit earlier this year, said she was alarmed at the latest developments.

Ms Nicholson said; “I’ve been told it’s going to be closed down in March next year.

“I think it would be a crying shame if it closed. Where else will people go in the borough? My friend was upset and she’s concerned about it.

“I don’t like the fact it seems to be done on the quiet. I just think the people of Wigan should know about this.

“I thought the care in there was fantastic. My friend didn’t want to go to Leigh but the change in her from all the therapies was noticeable within a week.”