Hospital latest: An estimated 200 to 300 campaigners join second protest this morning

More than 200 campaigners gathered outside Chorley Hospital this morning as the protest against its A&E department closure continued.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 23rd April 2016, 11:54 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd April 2016, 1:58 pm
Chorley Hospital A&E protest this morning
Chorley Hospital A&E protest this morning

Among those who joined the one hour protest were Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle, councillor Alistair Bradley, the leader of Chorley Council, and Steve Turner, of the Protect Chorley Hospital Against Cuts and Privatisation group.

The banner and placard-waving campaigners called for passing motorists to sound their horns as they drove by.

And they received lots of support.

Mr Hoyle said: “This goes from strength to strength in the support.

“People recognise this is life and death.

“People recognise this is the future of the A&E.

“It shows this is not going to go away.

“It shows people want a date for the reopening. We’ve been given presentations this A&E will reopen.

“I don’t think presentations without a day is acceptable.

“Tea and sympathy and empty promises is not acceptable. We want weeks, not months. Until that happens we will not rest - the campaign continues.”

Councillor Bradley said: “It’s an amazing response from the people of Chorley to the closure and to protect their hospital.

“We saw it last night in the council chamber where we saw cross-party support. There’s a commonality with South Ribble Council, all saying the same thing.

“You (the Trust) are saying you are going to reopen this A&E department. The question is, when, and when you do, are you going to make sure it doesn’t close again and it is sustainable.”

Asked when he would thought the department could reopen again, he said: “Realistically, a matter of days and weeks - and not months.

“The longer is stays shut, the harder it will be to reopen.”

Mr Turner said: “I would say there’s about two to three hundred people here. This is happening every week until the management overturn it.

“I think we’ve had such a lot of press in terms of national press as well. I think there’s a lot of pressure being put on.

“If you look at the people here, there’s young and old, a mixture of society. They’ve done a sterling job.

“I think this is Chorley at its best.

“I’m quite proud, it’s not just organiser like me, the people have a real input in what they want us to do.”

The A&E department at Chorley Hospital was closed on Monday by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.

The trust said the reason was that it could not recruit enough staff for the department.

It said the closure was only temporary.

In the meantime, an Urgent Care Centre is in place at the hospital.

This morning’s protest was the second one staged outside the hospital by campaigners, who held one last Saturday.

The Protect Chorley Hospital Against Cuts and Privatisation group has promised to protest outside the hospital every week until the A&E department reopens.