The shock closure of Chorley Hospital’s A&E department this week is already leading to lengthy waits for patients at Preston, it has been claimed.
Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle says neighbouring hospitals are starting to feel the knock-on affect of the closure, which is due to a staff shortage.
At this moment in time we are not anticipating a significant impact on our A&E due to the reduction of services at Chorley A&E.
The Labour MP tweeted on Monday: “Wigan and Blackburn worried about extra demand on A&E following Chorley closure. Been told waiting times of 8 hours at Preston last night.”
Mr Hoyle, who is fighting the closure, said he had spoken to Makerfield MP Yvonne Forvague who had expressed concerns in Wigan.
Ms Forvague said: “I am deeply concerned about the impact that the closure will have on Wigan A&E.
“On the day of the announcement, I spent several hours with NHS staff at Royal Albert Edward Hospital and the staff I spoke to were concerned about the additional pressures it would place on them, particularly as Wigan is running with the same level of vacancies in junior doctors as Chorley and will be expected to take over a third of patients with no additional resources.”
However, Mary Fleming, Director of Operations and Performance at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, said: “At this moment in time we are not anticipating a significant impact on our A&E due to the reduction of services at Chorley A&E.
“We will be monitoring the situation on a daily basis.”
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Chorley Hospital, declined to comment.