Former hospital may be back in use soon

Spalding's former Johnson Hospital site in Priory Road could soon be back in use as a health centre. Photo: SG170911-11MD
Spalding's former Johnson Hospital site in Priory Road could soon be back in use as a health centre. Photo: SG170911-11MD
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NEW owners of a former hospital have hinted that it could be only a matter of weeks until they are ready to unveil their plans for its future.

A lot of work has been going on to give the inside of the former Johnson Hospital in Priory Road a major overhaul – although the exterior remains largely unchanged because of the 130-year-old building’s listed status.

But a spokesman for owners Dryden Ltd said progress on turning the town centre landmark into a health centre had been slow because of “no end of problems”.

Terry McQuire, who is acting as agent, said: “We have been fighting a massive battle to get to where we want to be.

“We know Spalding is in desperate need of dementia care, so that is one of the things we are trying to do, but we have been hitting a lot of brick walls.

“In the meantime a lot of work has been going on inside to convert the old buildings – the old A&E is no longer recognisable and the former nurses’ home has been made inhabitable again, with gas, water and electricity.”

Mr McQuire is now waiting for a meeting with the former hospital’s trustees within the next couple of weeks and suggested plans could be revealed shortly after.

He said: “They have been annoyed by the lack of progress too, so we are keen to move it forward as soon as possible.”

The site was sold to Dryden Ltd in October 2010 more than a year after services, including the minor injuries unit and x-ray department, moved to the new £25m purpose-built Johnson Community Hospital in Spalding’s Pinchbeck Road.

Workmen moved onto the site almost immediately to start work on repairing damage caused by vandals and anti-social behaviour.

Last September, Mr McQuire said one of the hold-ups had been caused by changes within the structure of the NHS.