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Article and photographs by Paul Wright, 2023
Specialist Care Centre

rear of the building
Bathed in winter sunshine

All too often we have to keep repeating that something, or another has gone, or is about to disappear in Rushden.

The Sanatorium or Rushden hospital as it was called in the end, was closed, and eventually demolished in 2014.

Up the Hayway, we lost the much loved Hayway Clinic, which was originally opened in the first part of 1950, to serve the rapidly growing population of Rushden and its surrounding villages. Sadly that closed in 2011, and the services transferred to Nene Park in Irthlingborough.

Rushden did have a Police Station in Shirley Road; that stopped being open to the public in 2017, and you would be directed to Wellingborough Police Station in Midland Road.

As far back as the early 1970s rumors were going around, about the future of the Rushden Ambulance Station, at the time we were told that all was safe in that direction. The true reality kicked in, and it was closed, and the demolition took place in 2018.

Now we add Spinneyfields to the list of “there they were gone” in Rushden. This fifty bed unit had been a haven for lots of families, in many different ways. And no doubt, many of us could remember a friend, or loved one being taken care of there? And the client care rating was “good”.

Front entrance

Spinneyfields Specialist Care Centre located in H.E. Bates Way in Rushden had lately been run by West Northamptonshire Council, and provided care for people in need, after leaving hospital, providing respite care, etc.

This unpopular idea to make fifty staff redundant comes at the same time that ambulances are queuing at our local hospitals, because of a lack of beds, and patients ready for discharge with nowhere suitable to go.

patient transport
Patient transport

On Thursday 19th January, 2023, BBC Question Time hosted by Fiona Bruce, devoted an hour of trying to thrash out what is wrong with health care in this country. And social care was a big issue raised by members of the audience from Hoddesdon.

Quite naturally one of the regional Unison organisers called that decision "preposterous" during a "crisis in social care" to shut the unit in Rushden.

final days
Time running out

But now the painful decision has been made, and Spinneyfields closed on Sunday 29th January, 2023. So what will happen to those in need as they may be stuck in a hospital bed, but may well be fit enough to leave hospital?

Our conservative M.P. Mr Peter Bone did ask in the house if it could be run by the NHS, but the answer was no.

I visited the Rushden site in the final week, and saw some of the remaining patient transport in action. Some were being taken to the Luton area, a distance of 35 miles.

A request for internal shots was refused.

on the move
On the move

Now closed

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