Hospital chief asks for decision review

The Trust which runs Chorley Hospital has asked for an independent review of its decision not to reopen its A&E department.

Friday, 5th August 2016, 3:58 pm
Updated Friday, 5th August 2016, 4:59 pm
Demonstrators outside Chorley Hospital

The emergency unit was shut and downgraded to an urgent care centre in April - a decision made because it could not recruit enough staff to provide a safe service.

The A&E had been due to reopen, but after staff levels were found to be too low to be “safe and sustainable”, it was decided it will remain closed until April 2017.

There are currently only two permanent middle grade doctors in post, and seven are needed

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Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust said a review would find if that was the “safest viable option”.

Karen Partington, chief executive of the Trust said: “Today I have formally requested that NHS Improvement commissions an independent review of the risk assessment that resulted in the agreement that maintaining the current urgent care arrangements is the safest viable option for patients at this time.

“This review will provide additional assurance to all stakeholders, and most importantly to our patients, that all potential options for maintaining safe care have been carefully considered, and that everything possible is being done to reinstate the emergency department.”

But yesterday’s announcement has been slammed by Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle, who said he had already got the review agreed with NHS England on Wednesday.

He said: “I got this signed off on Wednesday - you can check the announcementon my Twitter page, so why did the Trust not announce it on Wednesday, or on Thursday?

“And why, when it has been put upon them (the Trust), are they now claiming that they have done it?

“It’s duplicitous and embarrassing.”

Chorley’s A&E has been replaced with an Urgent Care Centre, which can handle minor injuries and is only open during the daytime. More serious cases are being diverted to Preston or Wigan’s A&E departments.

The Evening Post revealed earlier this week that a bidding process has been ongoing for some time for the urgent care services. A preferred bidder for the services has now been selected, and the Evening Post understands that it is a private company based in Manchester called GTD healthcare.