A Source at the Lancashire Care NHS Trust today said that closing The Orchard to women is a 'temporary measure' until the new hospital "The Harbour" is opened in Blackpool.
This is a step away from the previous reasons of protecting the vulnerable, but could cover their reason of it being 'based on need'.
So why do they need more male beds now?
Following further enquires and investigation, we discovered that just weeks before The Orchard was closed to women, they closed Ward 18, a 15 bed male psychiatric ward in Burnley, with no means to cater for the number of beds they knew they needed.
If the Trust closes male beds, they should mitigate that closure by providing treatment in the community to the men they otherwise should have admitted as inpatients. Instead, they withdrew inpatient care to women of a large area of the trust. This is not acceptable.
It's the women of North Lancashire who are paying for this cost saving exercise. It is the women of North Lancashire who are being denied local treatment and its their families who are paying the cost in time, travel and disruption for this decision.
Lancashire Care is failing in its duty of care to the women it is meant to treat and support.
It has to change.