Chorley Hospital campaigners call "urgent" meeting about the future of the site

Campaigners say their efforts to defend Chorley Hospital are "at a crossroads".
Campaigners say their efforts to defend Chorley Hospital are "at a crossroads".

An “urgent” meeting has been called by campaigners demanding the reinstatement of a 24-hour Accident and Emergency department at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.

It comes after a draft NHS plan was published, indicating that the public could be asked for its opinion on a single A&E unit for central Lancashire.

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A formal consultation is expected to begin in January 2019 on a proposal which could also include a ring-fenced centre for pre-planned treatment, designed to reduce the risk of operations being cancelled.

Steve Turner, chair of Protect Chorley Hospital from Cuts and Privatisation, says the campaign is at “a crossroads”.

“We fought for A&E services to remain in Chorley and we were partially successful, when the department reopened for 12 hours a day,” he said.

“But we’re also fighting to keep other services here, too.”

“The problem is [NHS bosses] don’t really know what is happening themselves - they haven’t got the details in place,” Mr. Turner added.

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The meeting - which will take place next Tuesday - intends to draw on the “special connection” residents have with the hospital.

And the campaign hopes to replicate the success of another which was set up to defend the Euxton Lane site more than 40 years ago.

“In 1977, there was a march to protect services at Chorley Hospital, which attracted 7,000 people,” Steve Turner said.

“And as far back as when it was a cottage hospital, there used to be a collection through the trades unions to help provide funds.

“There is a real community feel to [the current] campaign and it’s important for people to attend the meeting next week - it’s the future of the hospital we’re talking about.”

The meeting is on Tuesday 28th August at 7pm at St. Joseph’s Club in Harper’s Lane in Chorley.