Options are being looked at for the future of a former mental health hospital in Southport which was one of the North West’s most stylish hotels. 

The Hesketh Centre on Albert Road, near Hesketh Park, has been empty and boarded up since all of the remaining outpatient services there were transferred to Hartley Hospital from 11 December, 2020.

The brand new hospital in Southport which cost £21million to build has now opened its doors to patients. 

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust successfully moved inpatients to the new “state of the art” Hartley Hospital on Curzon Road from the previous Hesketh Centre site.

The hospital brings together Southport’s mental health inpatient care on one site for the first time in years and has two 20-bed wards.

Local people are now wondering what the future holds for the Hesketh Centre, which was once one of the most stunning ‘hydro’ hotels in the region. 

‘Hesketh park Hydro’ was described as ‘Southport’s Premier Hydro’, being the ‘most comfortable home’ for residents, visitors and patients. 

The baths there comprised: chemical, brine, sulphur, vapour, sitz, douche, needle, slipper and electrical, with a certificated masseuse on-site. 

Guest could also enjoy table d’hote and ‘unequalled cuisine’, with facilities including: a spacious new smoking room, drawing room, lounge, recreation room, billiards room, writing and reading room, private sitting rooms, sunny bedrooms with hot and cold water, shady gardens and two tennis courts. The facility was just a few minutes’ walk from two golf links. 

Hesketh Park Hydro on Albert Road in Southport in 1927

Discussions are now taking place over what the future holds for one of Southport’s prime sites. 

Following completion of Phase 2 of Southport’s new £21million mental health hospital all remaining outpatient services at the old Hesketh Centre on Albert Road were transferred to Hartley Hospital on Curzon Road effective from 11 December, 2020.

A decision over the future of the Hesketh Centre, in Albert Road, Southport, will be taken once owners Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust assess options for the site.

It was originally a Victorian ‘hydro’ hotel and was later converted to health use.

The first services moved into Phase 1 of Hartley Hospital more than a year ago. Those were older adults and complex care in-patients’ service which vacated the adjoining old Boothroyd Unit to enable the demolition of the old building.

Since then there has been a phased occupation of the new Hartley Hospital – including transfer of inpatients from the Hesketh Centre last April.

That move and subsequent transfer of outpatient services won accolades from health bosses. Strict guidelines for social distancing and personal protective equipment were used to ensure the safety of staff and patients transported just over a mile away to the new building off Scarisbrick New Road.

It means Southport’s inpatient and community mental health services are co-located on one site for the first time.

A Mersey Care spokesperson said: “We are delighted that Hartley Hospital was completed despite the major challenges of the pandemic.

“As an organisation we are committed to providing the best care and treatment within our resources that supports recovery for our patients and an important part of that is to continue improving our estate.

“We are in the process of considering options for the old Hesketh Centre building.”

Do you have any stories for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com


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