Report reveals Chorley's A&E could re-open
Councillors will be pressing hospital bosses to reinstate Chorley’s A&E as a matter of urgency after an independent report into its closure today reveals that it could re-open on a part-time basis.
The report, requested by local politicians, states that ‘more could be done to re-open the department sooner’ and that the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust should communicate better with residents and stakeholders. The review team also agrees with a number of points made by Chorley Council, including the increased pressure it has put on neighbouring hospitals, meaning residents are having to wait longer to get treated. Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “We welcome the report and its findings and a lot of what the clinicians say is in line with what we have been saying all along. “We certainly welcome the recommendation to re-open the A&E on a part-time basis but I don’t personally see why we need to wait until January as the report clearly states that the current staffing levels should provide a basis for a part-time re-opening of the emergency department. “It also warns about ‘significant concerns’ with the ability of the Royal Preston Hospital to cope with winter pressures so this is yet another reason to get it open next month and not wait until we hit a crisis and people’s health could be being put at risk.” Following a meeting in August with Councillor Bradley and MP Lindsay Hoyle the report was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement and acknowledges a number of key concerns raised by residents who have been united by this issue. Large numbers of people have been campaigning outside the hospital every Saturday morning since the closure was announced in April, and recently the demonstrations have spread to neighbouring hospital sites. The report does say that it would not be possible to re-open the A&E 24 hours per day in a safe and sustainable manner at this moment in time and that more needs to be done to tackle the wider issue of increasing attendances at A&E departments. “We know that the hospital trust have had the best interests of residents at heart but we all feel let down by the sudden nature of the closure and the slow progress that has been made to date, despite local elected representatives reflecting the will of the public on this issue.” said Councillor Bradley. “I will be pushing, alongside Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle, for the A&E to be re-opened as soon as possible and I think it would go some way towards restoring the public’s trust in the management if they could get this done in November, and show their commitment to restoring the service we need in Chorley. “I’d like to state my admiration for everyone who has been backing the campaign to save the A&E as the overwhelming public pressure has undoubtedly played its part in getting to where we are today and it is important the hospital trust keep us all informed about their plans for the future so we can avoid having a situation like this again.” You can view the statement from the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust and the full report into the A&E review here.