Draft NHS plans indicating that the public could be asked for its opinion on a single A&E unit for central Lancashire have called into question the future of Chorley and South Ribble's A&E department.
Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle has demanded that NHS bosses “put all options on the table” during the formal consultation process, while Chorley Hospital campaigners have called for an "urgent" meeting.
Steve Turner, chair of Protect Chorley Hospital from Cuts and Privatisation, says the campaign is at “a crossroads”.
“We fought for A&E services to remain in Chorley and we were partially successful, when the department reopened for 12 hours a day,” he said.
“But we’re also fighting to keep other services here, too.”
Readers have also been making their feelings felt on social media.
Here are just some of the many comments:
"Chorley is far more accessible as we've got 3 motorways on our doorstep."
"Preston already cannot cope with demand as through recent experience patients are still ending up on trolleys in corridors. Plus there were patients who had been waiting sixteen hours and still didn’t have beds. Wrong on every level."
"The issue is that Preston hospital no longer just serves the people of Preston - it takes patients from south Cumbria, Wigan , Bolton etc with the Vascular service and Major trauma - all high cost interventions and many bed days in some cases for thesepatients. Once Preston has fixed them they can’t then transfer them back to their own area as those hospitals have no beds either so they end up staying in hospital for much longer waiting on transfer. the whole NHS is in crisis and it’s not going to get any better"
"Of course its wrong but that doesn't count. They'll spin this as the Utopian hospital vision that transforms and serves the needs of Central Lancashire. They haven't a clue. Literally. The last people considered in a change like this is the impact on the patients and their relatives let alone the staff having to make it work."
Gary M Hough
"Tories closing Hospitals ? Well I Never"
"Preston is 5 mins on the motorway. chorley a & e is a waste of cash. everything they have an ambulance has onboard. its ended up little more than a bandaging station."
"I bet the people who are backing this scheme don't live anywhere Chorley or Preston!"
"Totally agree we need a fully functioning Chorley Hospital"
"NHS spend a fortune on a new single A&E unit and then it will be given to Virgin to cream off the money"
"This really would not service the needs of the community . Bigger is not better . #Save our local services."
"We need a super hospital. Just to many people living here the hospitals can’t cope with the volume of people. The staff at the hospital are under serious pressure and stress which must be having a detrimental effect on their health and lives. To much talk and not enough doing. Northumberland have a specialist super hospital and it works. Something needs to be done and quickly. 2 years is to long to wait for something that they knew was happening it’s just not good enough."
Tanya Louise Smith
"Obviously, no idea of transport logistics.. or is it a ploy to franchise our NHS?"