Laundon House Clinic in Sleaford set to close

Laundon House Clinic, Sleaford. EMN-160924-111742001
Laundon House Clinic, Sleaford. EMN-160924-111742001

A clinic which has served Sleaford patients for eighty years is to close for good before the end of the year.

United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust officials have confirmed Laundon House Clinic on Eastgate in the town is due to its poor state of repair.

NHS maternity home staff on the balcony of Laundon House with a stork taken in 1952, supplied by Sleaford Museum Trust. EMN-160924-130943001

NHS maternity home staff on the balcony of Laundon House with a stork taken in 1952, supplied by Sleaford Museum Trust. EMN-160924-130943001

Some services have already move out to other locations and others are in the process of moving to other sites within the town or back to Grantham.

Chief Operating Officer for ULHT, Mark Brassington said: “Laundon House in Sleaford has previously been used as a base for some outreach clinics.

“Unfortunately, the condition of the building has deteriorated over time, and we believe the state of the building now could put patients at risk and is impacting upon the quality of patient experience.

“Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to stop providing services out of Laundon House from the end of this year.”

The Villa, as Laundon House used to be called, prior to its days as a maternity home. EMN-160924-131258001

The Villa, as Laundon House used to be called, prior to its days as a maternity home. EMN-160924-131258001

Mr Brassington said the services which have run some clinics from Laundon House include physiotherapy, audiology, paediatric diabetes, dietetics, orthoptics, community paediatrics and gynaecology. Many of these services held clinics at the site only weekly or monthly. In total fewer than 1,500 appointments per year have been held at Laundon House.

“A number of the clinics will continue to be provided from alternative sites in Sleaford. In some cases, the clinics have been moved back to Grantham hospital,” said Mr Brassington.

“All patients already affected by the change have been informed and given a choice of where to be seen in future where possible.”

Some services such as the community diabetes clinic have moved to Riversdale Clinic on Watergate, while for others ULHT is currently in negotiations with providers.

A ULHT spokesman said there is no-one permanently based at the clinic, it purely offer satellite sessions, adding: “The building is in quite serious disrepair and we had quite a lot of feedback about it needing a lot of work. Generally people feel it is not fit for purpose.

“The building will eventually have no services running out of it and we will look to dispose of it one way or another.”

○ Laundon House is a listed building and Sleaford historian Simon Pawley says it was built for Elston Law, one of the most important auctioneers in Sleaford from about the 1860s onwards and one of the people responsible for setting up Sleaford Cattle Market in 1874 (in his paddock in Northgate).

Mr Pawley said: “I think it dates from the late 1870s. Its original name was The Villa.

“Law died in March 1890 and in early 1893 it was auctioned off with the field adjoining, I think to a man called Oswald Giles, who in turn sold it by auction in 1896 (at which point there is a detailed description of it in the newspaper auction notice). At that point it is still called The Villa. In 1901, it is occupied by Henry Jackson ‘of independent means’.

“It was later owned by Alderman Seth Ellis Dean OBE of Kesteven County Council and East Kesteven Rural District Council, who died in November 1932. Dean came from Threekingham and I think he was the one responsible for re-naming it ‘Laundon’ (after Laundon Hall at Threekingham).

“By the late 1930s – maybe sooner – it became a private maternity home and the name Laundon House seems to get attached to it at that point. I think it became a public maternity home in the late 1940s, after the NHS was set up.”

○ Were you born at Laundon House? Let us know your memories.

Sleaford Museum Trust has supplied two old photos from the building’s past.

One shows The Villa before it became an NHS maternity home, the other shows NHS maternity staff on the balcony with a stork taken in 1952.