Chorley hospital A&E closure: Everything we know so far
There have been a number of developments following the confirmation that Chorley hospital's A&E department is to close.
We’ve pulled together all the updates so far to keep you informed - keep checking back for more information as we get it.
* Ahead of yesterday’s announcement
Staff at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital were told that its A&E department would not be closing - despite acute staff shortages that brought it to the brink.
The hospital has many unfilled vacancies, and was nearing the point where it would not have been able to safely operate an Accident & Emergency department.
However Trust bosses went to the hospital to reassure staff in the face of fears of closure.
Hospital bosses broke a national pay cap after one of their A&E departments was brought to the brink of closure by acute staff shortages.
Lancashire’s hospital trust has so many unfilled vacancies that it was nearing the point where it would not have been able to safely operate A&E departments at both Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals.
But at the last moment trust bosses decided that they would breach a national pay cap on agency staff - brought in by the government - in order to get the staff they need.
* The Announcement
Yesterday (April 13, 2016) it was confirmed that Chorley Hospital’s A&E department is to close from Monday.
Staff were told that from Monday the A&E department at Chorley will be downgraded to an Urgent Care Centre, which can treat minor injuries and illness, but not life-threatening situations.
It will open between 8am and 8pm. Read the full story here
Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle:
“How can you prioritise patient safety by closing an A&E department?”
South Ribble MP Seema Kennedy:
“I understand that patient safety is paramount but closing this site will put more patients at risk than offering a reduced capacity as the 50,000 people reliant on Chorley and South Ribble will now have to travel further when they need emergency care.”
Professor Mark Pugh, consultant anaesthetist and medical director of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:
“Changing the current service provided at Chorley is a direct response to the immediate and significant staffing problem.
“We simply cannot staff the rotas, and it is an unacceptable risk to patient safety to attempt to provide an emergency department service with no doctors available to see people.”
* Community reaction
Following the confirmation that Chorley hospital’s A&E department is to close from Monday hundreds of you took to social media to air your concerns over the decision. Read the social media reaction here