NEARLY 100 years of medical care drew to a close with the final closure of Rossendale Hospital today.

Removal lorries were on hand to remove the last remaining fixtures and medical equipment from the Haslingden Road site as the outpatients unit closed its doors for the last time.

Only the outpatients department remained at the hospital site, which has been gradually wound down under a four-year NHS reorganisation programme.

In-patient wards are no longer provided in the valley but the majority of other services have been transferred to the new Rossendale Primary Care Centre in Bacup Road.

Coun Granville Morris said: “It is a sad day as many people will have memories of being treated at Rossendale Hospital.

“But once the primary care centre is fully operational, it should be something which people in the valley can be proud of.”

Councillors have raised concerns about delays in the provision of an urgent care centre and birthing unit at the Rawtenstall health hub.

But health chiefs have insisted every effort is being made to launch the services before the end of the year.

Coun Morris said: “There will be concerns regarding what will happen to the old hospital building, as regards redevelopment and security.

“I hope in particular that it could be used for affordable housing, so we could help first-time buyers in Rossendale.

“But whatever happens we need to retain the main facade in any new development there because that is worth preserving.”

A spokesman for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which owns the buildings, confirmed the building was being emptied ahead of its final closure.

The old hospital began life, in part as Haslingden Workhouse, in the late 1860s and an infirmary was only established on site in 1912. This was known as Moorlands Infirmary before the name change to Rossendale General Hospital after the Second World War.