Chorley Hospital’s A&E department is set to close on Monday due to ongoing issues recruiting staff to work in the department.
Staff working at the hospital were informed this afternoon that from Monday the A&E department at Chorley will be downgraded to an Urgent Care Centre – meaning they can only treat minor injuries and illness, but life-threatening emergencies will be diverted elsewhere.
According to the Lancashire Evening Post, news of the closure has been met with anger from staff, locals and health unions – many blame ongoing government funding cut to the health service as a whole. Further blame could lie with the government crackdown on agency fees.
A Hospitals Trust spokesman said: “It is not possible to staff the rotas after 18 April, and there are no other safe options for delivering care – so the emergency department at Chorley will be temporarily replaced by an urgent care service until the staffing crisis is resolved.
The NHS Trust confirmed that although steps were taken to prevent the closure, no public consultation has taken place.
“The urgent care service will be provided at the urgent care centre, at Chorley & South Ribble Hospital.
“The service will be provided by a combination of emergency department consultants, nurse practitioners, GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants.
“The vast majority of people who currently attend the emergency department at Chorley have conditions that can be treated safely and appropriately by an urgent care centre.
“Additionally from Monday 999 ambulances will take patients to Royal Preston Hospital or other nearest appropriate hospital rather than Chorley, and patients who attend Chorley themselves, but who need to be admitted, or need specialist services will be transferred to Preston for assessment.”
UNISON Branch Secretary Pete Smith said: “This is a sad and worrying day for people in Chorley. The down-grading of the A&E department is not due to any reduction in the needs of the local community. It is a consequence of decisions taken by the Conservative Government to starve the NHS of adequate resources.
“For years the share of national income spent on our NHS has been falling. This has resulted in increasing pressures on staff – and now the recruitment problems are so bad that the A&E can no longer function.
“Jeremy Hunt should come to Chorley to see how his Government’s underinvestment is in danger of wrecking our NHS.”
NHS wants to send patients to France for treatment
Calais Hospital has a partnered with NHS South Kent Clinical Commissioning Group to provide elective treatment to NHS patients.
The Centre Hospitalier de Calais is prepared to take on NHS patients for elective treatment from and its website says it is “part of the UK NHS system”.
The Calais hospital. built in 2012, has state of the art equipment, no waiting list and patients can be seen within weeks.
The hospital has even installed English signage, designed part of its website in English and trained doctors and nurses in English medical terminology.
On its website the hospital says;
“Just five minutes from the Eurotunnel and ferry terminals, Calais Hospital opened in 2012 and offers state-of-the-art facilities to rival the best private healthcare provision in east Kent”.
Rob Hustwayte, the commissioning groups’ spokesman, says patients have a right to choose where they receive NHS treatment. He said;
“We would encourage local people to consider the options of using hospitals in France and England when discussing treatment with their GP”.
Despite the promise of state-of-the-art facilities and no waiting lists the French hospital says it has only received two referrals – one last year and one this year as many patients opt to wait for an appointment in their home country.
Northumbria trust urges people to talk about organ donation
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging people to talk to their families about organ donation as part of their end of life care wishes.
To mark Organ Donation Week which runs until Sunday 10 September, the trust is urging people to tell their families they want to become donors to ensure more life-saving transplants can take place.
Figures released by NHS Blood and Transplant this week show 275 people in the North East have died waiting for an organ transplant over the past 10 years.
This means that hundreds of life-saving transplants are being missed every year because families do not know what their relative wanted. Left to make the decision for someone they love, families often decide it is safer to say no.
The reluctance to talk about the issue is contributing to a deadly shortage of organs. In the North East alone, there are currently 264 people waiting for a transplant. They will only receive that life-changing call if people make sure their families know they want to be a donor.
In 2016/17 the trust had the highest number of families consent to organ donation.
Tracey Carrott, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said;
“To have 20 families consenting to organ donation last year is excellent and when you consider each donation has the potential to save up to nine lives – it brings home the scale of this. When you think that we had one family consenting to organ donation in 2010, it really does show how far we’ve come in the last seven years.
“Whereas nowadays many people are more aware of their relatives’ end of life care wishes, there are still many families who do not have that conversation and simply do not know what to do when that time comes.
“While we’ve made great strides in this area in recent years, we’re pleased to support this year’s Organ Donation Week and encourage people to make their family aware of their views.”
NHS Blood and Transplant surveys show more than 80% of people support organ donation but only around 49% of people have ever talked about it. Research shows that women are 30% more likely to start a conversation about organ donation than men.
Families who agree to donate say it helps with their grief and that they feel an enormous sense of pride at knowing their relative gave others the chance of a new beginning.
NHS Blood and Transplant wants everyone to be able to save lives through organ donation and not be prevented from doing so because they have not told a relative their decision.
For more information about organ donation, visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk
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