Chorley’s MP has warned that Lancashire could be the first region in the country to roll out controversial new plans from the NHS.
Lindsay Hoyle was speaking to Chorley A&E campaigners at the Town Hall in Market Street on Friday night.
Although the town’s A&E unit has now reopened for 12 hours a day, campaigners say they will continue to fight for a full 24-hour service.
The Chorley and South Ribble Hospital activists turned up on the chilly evening to hear about the Government’s new sustainability and transformation plans (STPs).
Mr Hoyle told the audience: “It’s about cutting services and doing medicine for less at the expense of patients.
“Lancashire is going to be a pathfinder, the government is picking certain areas like ours to push forward and avoid delays to the roll out of STPs at all costs and this not necessarily in the interests of our NHS.”
STPs are proposals which are being introduced with the view of making improvements to healthcare built around the needs of the local population.
But Andrew Ford, of Unite the union North West, told the meeting that the plans represented how NHS bosses were “slashing, trashing and privatising” the service.
“When you take away from management speak it’s going to be closures of A&Es, privitisation of labs and pharmacies,” he said.
Mr Hoyle rounded up the meeting with a call to action. “We all believe in our A&E, we believe in our hospital, our hospital is for our community,” he said. “This government has got to be held to account for what they have done. The STPs are trying to take money out of health. Let’s make sure that the future of Chorley Hospital is in our hands.”