I know I have readers from all over the world, but if you’re from the UK, you will be able to help prevent something pretty terrible happening in my home town.
2 days ago it was announced that my local A&E in Chorley, Lancashire, is being “temporarily” downgraded to an Urgent Care Centre.
This means it will no longer be running as an A&E department, treating life threatening emergency conditions and instead will only be open from 8am-8pm, treating minor injuries with any major or emergency cases being redirected to the Royal Preston Hospital, which is 13 miles away. The Lancashire Teaching hospitals Trust have said the reason is down to a staffing crisis and that they simply do not have enough mid-range emergency Doctors to keep the department operating safely. This would be understandable if Chorley was a small town, but it’s not, and has a growing population.Though the Trust are saying they believe this decision will save lives in the short term, it would cause immediate chaos for people needing urgent medical care both in Chorley and surrounding towns who’s A&E departments would be put under increasing pressure. Preston Hospital’s A&E department is always full to the brim with excessive waiting hours, whilst Chorley’s has recently been refurbished and has always seen me quickly in the past and not only relieves other surrounding services, but is a vital service for a very large area.
You can be as understanding or as cynical as you want about this, either way, a reorganisation of how the trust are recruiting and delegating staff needs to happen to prevent temporary closure that is more than likely going to become a permanent closure that’s simply forgotten about.
A petition has been created that has already reached over 10 000 signatures (enough for the government to respond) and needs to reach 100 000 signatures before it is considered to be debated in Parliament. The more signatures it gets, the more it will show both the trust and the Government that there is a staffing and organisation crisis in the NHS nationally and locally that’s putting enough people’s lives in danger for people to be worried and do something about it! So I’m asking any of my readers within the UK to sign the petition in support. Who knows, It could be your A&E next?
There has also been a Facebook group created that is organising a demonstration outside the hospital tomorrow, (Saturday) at 11am. If you are local or in the area, it would be great if you could go down and show your support. If the closure does occur, a march through the Town Centre is also being organised.
Even if it’s just a share on social media if you’re based overseas, or a signature, any support is greatly appreciated and needed. Thanks in advance.