I have been to Ashworth Hospital today, the first time I have been there for a while. The purpose of my visit was for a catch-up chat with a couple of their senior managers and we focused on the future of the Special Hospital.
There have been rumours doing the rounds in the Maghull & Melling community (the site is half in Maghull and half in Melling) for a while about whether the hospital has a future. Today I learned that it certainly does and there are no plans for it to be run down. This is good news for jobs locally.
A specific matter we discussed is the planned sell-off of some of Ashworth’s land for housing in the not too distant future. Putting it simply the Mersey Care Trust, who run Ashworth Hospital, want to dispose of surplus land so that they can raise money to invest in the hospital’s facilities. I urged the managers to consult the nearby community as their plans developed and they said they were happy and already prepared to do that.
We all know that Ashworth deals with some of the worst offenders with mental health problems in the Country but most people would not know it was in the heart of our local community. The 1980’s were a time when this Special Hospital gained a lot of bad publicity for the way it was run yet now all is calm and many local people work there and that helps our local economy. I have to say that the meeting was very positive and constructive and I enjoyed my chat with two pleasant and constructive senior Hospital managers.
Postscript – No sooner had I got home than the phone rang; it was local resident looking for my help but it soon became clear that he worked at Ashworth. Not only that but he went to school with a good mate of mine! An embarrassing photo of my mate as a young lad is promised!