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Latest update on temporary change to Chorley A&E

The Emergency Department at Chorley Hospital was temporarily replaced by an Urgent Care Centre on 18 April 2016. Staffed by a wide range of medical professionals, the centre is able to provide a variety of treatments for many minor injuries, and residents of Chorley and the surrounding areas can access this service whilst plans are being put in place for the reinstatement of the emergency department. 

The urgent care centre is able to treat: 

  • Minor nose bleeds
  • Minor cuts, bites and stings
  • Burns and scalds
  • Infections (including abscesses)
  • Foreign bodies in wounds, ears and noses
  • Muscular sprains and strains to shoulders, arms and legs
  • Fractures to shoulders, arms, legs & ribs
  • Dislocations of fingers, thumbs and toes
  • Minor eye conditions including conjunctivitis and foreign bodies
  • Minor chest, neck and back injuries
  • Minor head injuries with no loss of consciousness or alcohol-related
  • Minor allergic reactions
  • Some minor ailments such as coughs, colds, flu symptoms, sore throat, earache, urinary tract infections and sinusitis
  • Diarrhoea / constipation
  • The UCC can also provide emergency contraception

The centre is open 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. Outside of these hours, patients should phone 111 for advice or 999 in a life-threatening emergency.

The change has happened because Lancashire Teaching Hospitals doesn’t have enough of the right type of doctor to safely staff its emergency departments.

Professor Mark Pugh, Consultant Anaesthetist and Medical Director of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said, “We are continuing to do everything we can to recruit and retain the additional staff required to reinstate the emergency department at Chorley in a safe and sustainable manner.

“Whilst recruitment activities are ongoing, along with our partner agencies we’ve mobilised the urgent care service.  We have made changes at Royal Preston Hospital to accommodate any additional patients and we will continue to provide safe and effective care.”

Discussions continue to take place to ensure the safe and timely reinstatement of the emergency department.  The System Resilience Group (SRG) met again this week to agree the staffing position that needs to be achieved to deliver a safe and sustainable service and enable the reinstatement of the department at Chorley Hospital. 

14 middle grade doctors are needed  to safely staff the emergency department. It has been agreed that the department can be reinstated once Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has a workforce that consists of at least 10 permanent staff, with the gaps covered by locums who have successfully completed a trial period. These requirements will ensure a safe and sustainable service can be delivered, and there is enough capacity to respond to changes in the workforce.

Professor Pugh added: “When these staffing levels have been reached, there will need to be a short period of testing the stability of that workforce.  Once we are confident the level can be sustained, we will be able to plan for the reinstatement of the emergency department at Chorley Hospital.”

Dr Dinesh Patel, Clinical Chair of Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning Group and member of the System Resilience Group said: “The SRG is liaising weekly with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals and other stakeholders to gain assurances that the process for recruiting staff and reinstating the emergency department at Chorley Hospital is progressing. We want to see the emergency department reinstated as soon as possible, but we will ensure that it is only reinstated when the agreed level of staffing can be sustained.” 

More information about the temporary changes at Chorley Hospital can be found on the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals website

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