Royal Preston Hospital is to bear the brunt of the closure of Chorley’s A&E unit.Advertisement
A lack of middle grade doctors has forced Lancashire Teaching Hospitals to reduce the service available at Chorley.
The ‘current staffing pressures’ mean all 999 callouts will take patients to Preston Royal.
An urgent care centre at Chorley is to be open from 8am to 8pm – outside of these hours and patients are asked to attend their nearest A&E department, which in most cases would be Preston.
Professor Mark Pugh, consultant anaesthetist and medical director of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “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.
“These measures are temporary, and we will continue to do everything possible to secure all the staff we need and reinstate the emergency department service at Chorley.”
The Trust said it has only eight doctors available – and needs 14 to be able to staff its middle grade rotas. This leaves it 257 hours short of providing a full service.
A statement released by the trust says most patients with serious injuries would currently be taken immediately to Preston, or transferred from Chorley once stabilised.
Dr Gora Bangi, chair of Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group said: “After reviewing the clinical and service recommendations of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, it is clear that this is the only safe and viable option available to maintain safe care for patients given the current staffing challenge.
“However the System Resilience Group will review the situation on a week by week basis, with a view to reinstating the emergency department service as soon as that’s possible.”
The closure of Chorley A&E comes into force from Monday 18 April.
A campaign has been launched to keep the A&E department open, with a petition already signed by more than 12,000 people.
Here’s the front page of tomorrow’s Lancashire Evening Post #fighttheclosure pic.twitter.com/nqBnaEZ61h
— lep.co.uk (@leponline) April 14, 2016
What do you think about the closure? Do you work at Chorley or Preston hospitals? Let us know your views in the comments below