Campaigners pack public meeting

Hospital meeting at Chorley Town Hall

Hospital meeting at Chorley Town Hall

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Queues of people attended a public meeting to defend the future of Chorley and South Ribble District Hospital.

The start time had to be delayed by 10 minutes on Friday evening to allow more than 250 people to fill the Lancastrian Suite at Chorley Town Hall.

It came after campaigners called for supporters of the hospital to ‘rise like lions’ to fight the threat of cuts and privatisation.

Organiser Steve Turner said: “We had to delay the start of the meeting by 10 minutes to allow for queuing people to enter the Town Hall.

“The meeting was lively with many people contributing to and supporting our campaign.

“We now have a broad alliance of our community that are committed to protecting our services at the hospital.

“Hospital staff can be assured that the public of Chorley and South Ribble are with them.

“This level of support is crucial if we are to have influence in protecting our services at Chorley.”

However, speaking against the campaign, Karen Partington, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who has met with the campaigners, said: “We have confirmed to the group’s representatives, and wish to assure people in the Chorley and South Ribble area, that we remain fully committed the hospital and have no plans to reduce service provision.

“We believe public services should be open and transparent, and will continue to listen and respond to any concerns the group has, however this continued speculation about the future of the hospital is creating unnecessary anxiety for both patients and staff.”