Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has called for better support of staff from the now-closed Calderstones Hospital, help to find them local NHS jobs.

He accused bosses of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust of treating them 'very badly and unfairly'.

The decision to close the hospital in Mitton Road, Whalley, a learning disabilities and mental health facility managed by Mersey Care, has left its staff concerned about their future.

They were told remaining services were to relocate to the trust's Maghull Health Park in Liverpool, more than 40 miles away which many workers say is too far away to commute to and from.

The GMB union claims 50 staff have been sacked as they don't want to have a daily two-hour round trip.

Lancashire Telegraph: Nigel Evans MPNigel Evans MP

Mr Evans said: “I am hugely concerned about the alternate jobs being offered to the NHS staff who have been working at the Calderstones site within my constituency.

"I have made contact with the chair of community and mental health services at Mersey Care, Rosie Cooper to make this concern known.

“It is quite clear we need to support the incredibly skilled and cherished NHS workers who in this instance are being treated very badly and unfairly.

"Offering replacement employment which would involve an 80-mile round trip to and from the Ribble Valley, where the majority of staff currently live, is clearly not a reasonable alternative employment offer.

“Offering these highly skilled NHS workers jobs many miles away is not only impractical and expensive but would considerably eat into their day given the time it would take to travel to and from Maghull.

"I believe those staff should be offered other local opportunities, not ones 40 miles away.

"We need to show our support and gratitude to these workers, many of whom have given many years of their lives to working within our NHS, and not treat them in a cavalier fashion simply because the NHS has decided to move its services – this is not the fault of the staff, and they should not be the victims of this decision.

“I strongly encourage those within the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust to take these points into consideration and offer alternative employment opportunities.

A Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson has said: “We are aware of concerns among some of our workforce due to changes in working arrangements alongside the transfer of care from our Whalley site to Aspen Wood, based at Maghull Health Park.

“Throughout this ongoing process, Mersey Care has supported all staff to continue their careers within the NHS by offering opportunities within our trust and other local NHS organisations to protect their employment.

“We will continue working with our workforce, staff side and partners to support staff and offer them suitable alternative roles where possible."