Last-ditch plans to save the A&E department at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital have been proposed.
Hospital bosses have revealed that from Monday at 8am, Chorley and South Ribble’s A&E will be downgraded to an Urgent Care Centre, which cannot treat serious or life-threatening cases.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust says the closure is temporary, caused by an acute staffing crisis.
They say they have just eight of the 14 doctors needed to staff the middle grade doctor rota.
Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle is fighting to save the service, believing more could have been done earlier to address the problems of staffing shortages.
He said: “If the will is there I believe we can still save our A&E. The Trust have failed to plan accordingly in response to staff shortages but even now I believe efforts can be made to help keep our A&E open.
“I have asked the Trust to take the following measures:
• In the short term request military support to staff the 24 hour A&E service at Chorley & South Ribble Hospital
• Contact every GP in the local area to see if any are willing to provide cover at the hospital
• Place adverts in all national media outlets seeking staff to fill vacancies
• Ensure that applications made to the Trust are processed quickly and appointments made where possible.
“We are now at the 11th hour and we must do everything we can to try and avoid closure.
“If the Trust are not willing to take these actions then one must question what their real motives are and their failure to plan ahead will be further compounded by their inability to react to the current crisis.
“I believe by working together we can still save our A&E and want to exhaust all avenues now in order to avoid closure.”
A statement from the Trust this week said they had taken actions to tackle the staffing crisis, but had not been able to secure the number of staff needed to safely staff the rotas.
Bosses also said they had met with army colleagues, but found they did not have appropriate personnel suitable to staff the middle grade doctor rota.