5,000 expected at protest to re-open hospital’s A&E

Save A&E: Protestors at one of the weekly meet-ups to reopen the departme

Save A&E: Protestors at one of the weekly meet-ups to reopen the departme

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Around 5,000 people are expected at a protest march this weekend to demand Chorley Hospital’s A&E reopens.

The rally, organised by Protect Chorley Hospital Against Cuts and Privatisation, will march around Chorley town centre on Saturday, June 11.

The protest comes after the Chorley and South Ribble’s A&E department closed temporarily in April and was downgraded to an urgent care centre, because it could not recruit enough staff.

Ambulances are now going to Royal Preston Hospital.

Steve Turner, campaign organiser, has also arranged weekly protests at the hospital.

He said the support has been “overwhelming” and there is “real community spirit”.

Talking about the upcoming rally, Steve said: “I am feeling confident the community will join us to show our anger that 270,000 people have been left without an A&E service.

“This is our time to fight for the A&E to be reopened, we owe it our community, our children and future generations.”

He said the rally would send a “clear message” to hospital management and government.

“Our aim is to bring pressure to bear on decision makers not just to reopen our A&E as soon as possible, but to put safeguards in place so that we do not face this position again.

“Lives are being put at risk.”

The march is meeting at 12.30pm at Astley Park gates.

Protestors also took their fight to Royal Preston Hospital on Thursday, to demand A&E reopens to hospital trust bosses who are based at the site.

Professor Mark Pugh, trust director, said: “We are continuing to do everything we can to recruit and retain the additional staff required to reinstate the emergency department.”

For more information, visit www.lancsteachinghospitals.nhs.uk.