Pharmacy to start new life for hospital

The old Johnson Hospial in, Priory Road, Spalding, part of which is to open as a pharmacy on Monday. Photo:  SG040613-124TW. www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto

The old Johnson Hospial in, Priory Road, Spalding, part of which is to open as a pharmacy on Monday. Photo: SG040613-124TW. www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto

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A new chapter for Spalding’s former Johnson Hospital is to start after a four-year wait, with the promise that it will become a “centre of excellence for health care”.

After endless debates, readers’ letters and a special Spalding Guardian feature in June about non-residential sites overdue for development in the town centre, a new pharmacy is to open at the Priory Road site on Tuesday.

Workmen have been tidying up the old Johnson Hospital site in recent weeks ready for the pharmacy’s opening and a spokesman for owners Dryden Ltd is promising further good news for Spalding residents about the former hospital in the coming months.

Terry McGuire, an adviser for Dryden Ltd, which bought the site in October 2010, said: “People thought we were going to knock it down but we’re not and we want to turn it into a health centre for various disciplines instead.

“The old Johnson Hospital will stay as it is externally and become a centre of excellence for health care, with the 
pharmacy opening first on July 16.

“It will be open seven days a week and our aim is to cater for everybody in the Spalding area, with pharmacy staff being able to speak 11 different languages as we try to be as multicultural as possible.”

Mr McGuire said a nursery and a “very large number” of respite flats for people recovering from strokes or diagnosed with dementia would also open once re-development of the main building has finished.

He added: “We had a big plan to build a new doctors’ surgery but we weren’t expecting the problems we had.”