Campaign to save Chorley and South Ribble District Hospital

Photo KEVIN McGUINNESS'Accident and Emergency, Chorley Hospital
Photo KEVIN McGUINNESS'Accident and Emergency, Chorley Hospital

A public campaign has been launched to safeguard the future of Chorley hospital.

The fightback is being led by the union Unite after fears over the future of the facility in Euxton Lane were raised by concerned members.

The group is now set to hold a public meeting on September 21 and has vowed to hold demonstrations in a bid to protect the hospital in the long-term.

The move comes after it was announced that there will be job losses at the hospital as the Trust looks to save £50m.

Steve Turner, branch secretary for Unite, said: “The campaign has stemmed from major concerns that were raised from members about the future of Chorley and South Ribble District Hospital.

“We had a large range of people attend the meeting, including doctors, nurses, patients, pensioners and retired members of staff.

“They all have one big concern - that Chorley hospital will be swallowed up by Preston hospital and close forever.”

Mr Turner said the campaign is already starting to gather pace and he urged Chorley residents to have their say at the public meeting that will be held at St Joseph’s Club, in Harpers Lane.

He added: “There is no doubt that the budget cuts are going to have a major impact on Chorley hospital and we want to make sure we safeguard services and protect the future of the hospital.

“By 2013/14 we fear that the hospital could become a private facility or worse close altogether.

“That would be devastating for the town so we need to act now before it is too late.”

An online campaign has already been launched on Facebook and plans for the meeting will be publicised in the coming weeks.

The town’s MP Lindsay Hoyle said: “My concern all along has been about the future of Chorley hospital and ensuring that services are retained there.

“I have got a meeting coming up with the Chief Executive and I will again discuss my concerns with them.

“The Trust has to save £50m due to Government cuts and there are bound to be serious consequences for Chorley.

“I will support any campaign to save the hospital and the valuable services it provides.”

Tony Curtis, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said, “We are intending to achieve our efficiency target of £21m by implementing more effective ways of working.

“Delivering such significant savings in this and future years will inevitably result in some change as we aim to protect frontline services and jobs, however I would like to reassure local patients and staff that there are no plans to close Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and we remain committed to providing the highest standards of care at both hospital sites.”