A woman who had broken her ankle was told there was no doctor on site to see her at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital.
Joanne Kelly, of Mendip Road in Clayton-le-Woods, had dislocated and fractured her ankle at a barbecue at her friend’s house in the evening of Saturday, June 10.
She turned up at the 24/7 urgent care centre in the early hours of Sunday, June 11.
“I got out of the taxi I could not walk and fell to the floor, my partner got me a wheelchair and I sat outside the hospital,” said Joanne.
“The pain I was in was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life.”
However on arrival she was told that she could not be treated because there was no doctor on site. A spokesperson for Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Greater Preston CCG, which commissioned the urgent care centre, has since confirmed that there was, in fact, a doctor at the hospital at the time.
Speaking to the Guardian Joanne, 39, said: “When we got there they wouldn’t even let us in the building.
“We were basically told there was no X-ray department open.
“However when my partner asked for a doctor to have a look at me he was told there was no doctor either.
“I had an accident at a barbecue at a friend’s house in Horwich, I had dislocated and fractured my ankle.”
The CCG spokesperson said: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, we can assure local people that there is a GP-led urgent care service on both the Chorley Hospital and Royal Preston Hospital sites, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Patients who present at Chorley Hospital requiring treatment by the emergency department between 8pm and 8am will be directed to Royal Preston Hospital.”
Chorley A&E was reopened part time in January this year during daytime hours, between 8am-8pm, seven days a week.
Bosses had shut the emergency department in April 2016 pointing to staff shortages amid outcry from the community in Chorley.
Meanwhile the urgent care centre at Chorley is open around the clock.
Medics working for the service are able to treat patients with sprains and strains and broken bones among other minor injuries which are not life-threatening.
Joanne eventually made it to Royal Preston Hospital where medics put her foot in plaster.
“Doctors at Preston said if I had gone home the outcome of my injury could have been very different,” said Joanne, who is a community and social care student at the University of Central Lancashire (Uclan).
“As it is my injury is debilitating and will be for several weeks.
“I dread to think what situation I would have been in if I had gone home that night.
“I have never broken any bones in my body so to be treated like this first-time round is disgraceful,
“I truly thought the NHS was an excellent service but I feel extremely vulnerable after this experience.
“I live in Clayton-le-Woods so my nearest hospital is Chorley yet I cannot be treated there, part of me is wondering why this hospital is there.”
Joanne will spend the next seven weeks in plaster.