Watchdog meets campaign group after A&E fall-out

Mike Wedgeworth of Healthwatch Lancashire
Mike Wedgeworth of Healthwatch Lancashire
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Healthwatch Lancashire says it has had “positive discussions” with an action group who called for its chairman to resign.

Mike Wedgeworth came underfire for his statement on the closure of Chorley Hospital’s A&E department, where he decried “blood-curdling hype” around the closure and insisted: “We will not join in any demonstration or climb aboard any bandwagon.”

Members of the Protect Chorley Hospital From Cuts and Privatisation’ group, voted unanymously for Mr Wedgeworth to step down from his publicly-funded role.

A spokesman for Healthwatch Lancashire this week said: “We assured them of our independence and that we want to hear the views of people from the Chorley and South Ribble community.

“As a result, we discussed organising a focus group with members of the ‘Protect Chorley Hospital From Cuts and Privatisation’ group where they will have the opportunity to voice their views, which we will then share with the leaders of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and other relevant organisations.

“Healthwatch Lancashire acknowledge that there have been lessons learned from the comments we have received from the group and want to assure people that these have been taken seriously. We will continue to ensure that people have a voice when it comes to health and social care.”