Council slammed over hospital delay

Demonstration calling for Chorley Hospital's A&E unit to be reopened
Demonstration calling for Chorley Hospital's A&E unit to be reopened
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South Ribble Council has been slammed for not appointing a member to sit on a hospital governance committee - at a time when the areas A&E department has closed.

In November, the Trust which runs the Royal Preston Hosptial and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital asked local authorities to allocate a member, in order for them to have representation.

Lancashire County Council appointed leader Councillor Jennifer Mein, Preston Council appointed Councillor Javed Iqbal, Chorley Borough appointed its leader Councillor Alistair Bradley, but nobody from South Ribble has yet taken the role.

However, it is understood a councillor will be appointed next week - after weeks of questionning by an opposition councillor.

Labour Councillor Ken Jones, a public governor of Trust, said the absense so far was a “great embarrassment to the borough, with us having no representation at the most crucial of times”. Steven Turner of Protect Chorley Hospital Against Cuts And Privatisation, said: “This behaviour is at odds with many of their own constituents who join us each week at our demonstration outside our hospital, fighting for our A&E service to be reopened.”

Leader of South Ribble Council, Councillor Margaret Smith said: “We are pleased to announce that Councillor Jacqui Mort is to be installed as South Ribble Borough Council’s representative on the Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors at the full council meeting on Wednesday. We are now looking forward to contributing in a constructive way on behalf of the residents of South Ribble.”

No explanation has been given for the delay, though meeting minutes reveal Coun Smith believes there was a breakdown in communication with the Trust and information sent “lacked fundamental details”.