Hospital campaigners set off on lobbying visit

Hospital campaigners are on their to London as they take their cause to the heart of government.

Monday, 10th October 2016, 8:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 3:27 pm
CHORLEY 21-05-16 A group of bikers joined demonstrators outside Chorley and South Ribble Hospital to show their support against the closure of Chorley A&E. **the bikers did a ride by earlier than 9.50am and then joined the group on foot**

The Chorley Hospital Against Cuts and Privatisation Group has organised the lobbying trip to Parliament today.

It is as a result of the closure of the hospital’s A&E department.

They will gather with other hospital campaign groups from around the country who are also taking their protest to the Commons.

The Chorley group’s visit has gone ahead despite hospital bosses confirming last week that the A&E department would now reopen part-time - 12 hours a day - most likely from January.

It followed a report from NHS Improvement, the health watchdog, which said the unit could be reopened part-time with its current level of staffing.

Steve Turner, of the Chorley Hospital Against Cuts and Privatisation Group, said the group would organise another meeting in Chorley Town Hall to make the wider public aware of the current situation.

“We’ll see what they think and more than likely have some reaction,” he said.

Meanwhile, 100 Chorley campaigners visiting the capital today where they will meet North West MPs for an hour at 2pm.

After the meeting they will be joined by around 10 more campaign groups outside the House of Commons.

Chorley Hospital and South Ribble Hospital was downgraded to an urgent care centre in April. The A&E closure sparked a huge protest.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said staffing levels were still too low to operate a “safe and sustainable” A&E unit.

The Trust said the unit would remain closed until at least April 2017, when the situation would be reviewed.