The 15 Worst Areas For Healthcare In Lancashire

Healthcare is a key priority for many citizens in Lancashire. Whether that means getting dealt with fast and efficiently, being cared for in a compassionate and empathetic way, or remaining healthy while staying in a hospital or care home – a good quality healthcare service makes all the difference for patients and their families alike. Considering this, it’s no surprise that people across the country want to know how their towns and cities are performing, especially when looking to relocate or buy a home.

Many healthcare services in the UK are experiencing strain from increased demand, supply chain issues, and lingering after-effects of the pandemic. This can have an outsized impact on patient outcomes, with these lapses often picked up by The Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC are an independent regulatory body that assesses the day-to-day function of healthcare providers across the UK. The body inspects everything from the hygiene standards of a facility to its service quality and patient care, sometimes requiring locations to make changes and improvements.

Should your facility be found lacking in hygiene standards, Vanguard Cleaning can help. Having garnered over two decades of medical cleaning expertise, we have helped dozens of healthcare institutions pass their CQC inspections. Our industry-leading staff training is accredited by the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc), meaning our cleaners have the knowledge and experience to implement impeccable hygiene standards across your facility.

In Vanguard’s latest healthcare region report, we’ll examine medical institutions across the entirety of Lancashire. We’ll outline which towns, cities, and villages have the worst-rated healthcare services as determined by the CQC, and what that could mean for citizens living in the surrounding areas.

Lancashire Cleaning Statistics Overview


Top 15 Worst Areas For Healthcare In Lancashire

Whether you’re looking to move to the area, concerned about your town’s healthcare record, or simply curious – let’s delve into the worst areas for healthcare in Lancashire County.

15. Burnley

12.5% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

One of Lancashire’s most populous towns, Burnley is located where the Rivers Calder and Brun meet. Formerly a mill town, the area has a strong industrial pedigree, developing thriving aerospace and manufacturing industries over the past century. Unfortunately, the town’s healthcare is not so impressive, with 12.5% of services failing their most recent CQC inspection.

While 94 locations are up to scratch, the presence of 13 services that are faltering should give residents pause for concern.  


14. Poulton-le-Fylde

12.9% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

A town that bridges the gap between the rural areas of Fylde and the more urbanised towns of Blackpool and Thornton-Cleveleys, Poulton-le-Fylde is a market town with a population of over 18,000. Due to its proximity to Fylde’s farmland, the town holds regular farmers markets every month. In terms of healthcare, however, Poulton could use some improvement, with 12.9% of the area’s services being found below par.

Residents may be shocked to find that among these, 2 facilities have been marked as Inadequate, meaning they need substantial changes.


13. Barnoldswick

13% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

A market town at the very eastern reaches of Lancashire, the area of Barnoldswick encompasses smaller settlements nearby, such as Earby, Salterforth, Kelbrook, and Sough. These surroundings are highly rural and tend to have smaller populations, meaning there are a limited number of healthcare services available. Of these, 13% have been determined to be under-performing.

Breaking this down, we find 20 services that have been rated as Good, and 3 services rated as Requires Improvement.


12. Skelmersdale

13.6% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Just west of the boundary with Greater Manchester, Skelmersdale is a mid-size town with a population that approaches 40,000. Residents can enjoy plenty of greenery around their housing, including nature trails, playing fields, and a large green space in the form of Beacon Country Park. The area’s healthcare record is poor, though, coming in below Lancashire’s average at 13.6% of services requiring improvement.

This includes 2 service locations with Inadequate ratings, which should alarm local residents.

11. Blackpool

13.6% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

The renowned seaside town and holiday destination, Blackpool boasts a range of attractions including the Tower, the Pleasure Beach, Sandcastle, the Illuminations, and Blackpool Zoo, as well as a thriving nightlife. Unfortunately, medical care in the resort is not as prestigious as the town’s entertainment venues, with 13.6% of healthcare services requiring improvement.

Despite this, the town has 11 locations with an Outstanding rating, which is among the highest number in Lancashire, so there are some promising healthcare prospects.


10. Lancaster University

14.3% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Unlike many metropolitan universities, Lancaster University is located just south of the city itself, on a picturesque campus surrounded by trees and fields. The university has developed an excellent reputation since it’s founding, consistently ranking in the top fifteen universities in the UK. However, the healthcare services on campus and in nearby urban areas leave much to be desired, with 14.3% failing their CQC audits.

Perhaps due to the academic backdrop, a total of 5 services have earned an Outstanding rating, so the university’s students have a mixed bag of quality to contend with for their healthcare.

9. Chorley

15% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Just south of Preston, the wider Chorley area encompasses nearby villages such as Euxton, Charnock Richard, and Coppull. This also includes the highly modern, suburban development of Buckshaw Village. The area’s healthcare services are well below Lancashire’s average, with 15% of services requiring improvement.

This includes 2 facilities that received an Inadequate rating from the CQC, meaning considerable improvements need to be made.


8. Rishton & Oswaldtwistle

15.1% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Two small towns situated between the larger urban areas of Blackburn and Accrington, Rishton & Oswaldtwistle are divided by farmland and small rivers. With each settlement home to only a few thousand residents, many will no doubt travel to neighbouring locations for their healthcare services. Unfortunately, the nearby services are not performing at their best, with 15.1% of locations rated as requiring improvement.

A whopping 241 services in the vicinity remain unrated, which no doubt encompasses parts of the surrounding urban towns.


7. Blackburn

15.7% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

With a population of over 120,000, Blackburn is one of the largest towns in Lancashire. It has a rich industrial heritage, being a centre of textile manufacturing for much of its historical life.  Recently, Blackburn has grown rapidly and put the healthcare system under increased strain, possibly contributing to 15.7% of services failing their most recent CQC inspection.

This translates to a shocking 21 locations rated as Requires Improvement, and 1 location rated as Inadequate.


6. Lancaster

16.9% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

A city with a deep historical ancestry, Lancaster is one of the jewels of the north. From the 12th century stone castle just footsteps from the city centre to the winding canal that works its way through some of the busiest parts of the city, Lancaster is a unique and memorable locale. Unfortunately, the performance of healthcare facilities in this area could use some work, with 16.9% of locations being found sub-par.

A total of 4 services were found to be Inadequate in and around the city, which is the highest in Lancashire and no doubt raises key worries for local residents.


5. Haslingden & Rawtenstall

17.3% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Just south from Accrington, Haslingden and Rawtenstall are middling townships resting near the Rivers Irwell and Ogden. Like other settlements nearby, Haslingden is famous for its textile industry, as well as several stone quarries that lie in the town’s vicinity. In terms of healthcare, the two town’s services are among Lancashire’s worst, with 17.3% of rated locations under-performing.

Additionally, 118 facilities in the area are still unrated, meaning the public don’t have the fullest picture when it comes to nearby healthcare services.


4. Longton

18.8% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

A suburb to the southwest of Preston, Longton has a highly religious history, with several churches, chapels, and priories located nearby. As an area that includes parts of Hutton, Penwortham, and Hesketh Bank, the healthcare services in and around Longton are well under the county’s average, with 18.8% of services requiring improvement.

This figure breaks down into a whopping 35 services rated as Requires Improvement, and 1 service found to be Inadequate.


3. Adlington

18.9% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Situated close to the renowned Rivington Pike, Adlington and its neighbouring towns are mostly rural. As a result, residents will likely benefit physically and mentally from their natural and picturesque surroundings, which may play an important role in offsetting the area’s poor quality healthcare services. With 18.9% of facilities not up to scratch, residents of Adlington would be well within their rights to feel concerned.

This is worsened by the surrounding area having over 270 services that remain unrated, making the overall standard of care across the township largely unknown.


2. Darwen

19.4% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Just like the larger and more populous Blackburn to the north, Darwen is a highly industrial town. Rather appropriately, the town is named after the River Darwen, which runs underneath the centre of the town. Despite this unique feature, healthcare in the town is severely lacking, with 19.4% of locations found to require improvements.

That figure translates to a total of 19 facilities, with 1 among these receiving a rating of Inadequate.


1. Bacup & Whitworth

25% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Two small towns north of Rochdale, Bacup and Whitworth are surrounded by valleys, hills, and nature reserves. Despite the beautiful landscapes, the areas in and around Bacup and Whitworth officially provide the worst standard of healthcare in Lancashire. The twin towns suffer from a shocking 25% of healthcare services that have failed their most recent CQC audit.

With 12 out of 48 total facilities given a rating of Requires Improvement, residents of these towns might be better off looking elsewhere for quality healthcare.


How We Source Our Data

To maintain transparency and trust with our findings, we always source our data directly from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website. As an independent regulator, the CQC publish all their inspection results online, allowing us to search across different regions and towns to find out how many healthcare services are rated Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement, or Inadequate. We then count the poorly rated services and express them as a percentage of all rated healthcare services in that location.

Important to note is that some services aren’t yet assessed by the CQC, so these are left out of our calculations for the time being. Additionally, to gather a comprehensive view of the healthcare services in a given town, we cast a 5-mile radius over the location, which may create overlap with another town. This won’t muddle our findings, as citizens of one town will often use the services in another town. For example, residents of Poulton-le-Fylde will also make use of Blackpool Victoria Hospital, so it is covered in the radius of both areas.