We have announced that we will be in a position to re-open the Emergency Department at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital on a phased and reduced hours basis from the 2nd November 2020. The unit had been temporarily closed since Wednesday the 1st April as part of the Trust’s response to the pandemic.
The Trust has been clear about its ongoing commitment to re-opening as soon as it was safe to do so and throughout the summer extensive building and infrastructure work has taken place to make the unit Covid-secure - with a wide ranging recruitment campaign bringing additional staff to the Trust.
The recruitment of sufficient senior decision makers was the final barrier to re-opening, however Board reported a number of additional substantive appointments at its Board meeting on the 1st October and subsequently further work has taken place with NHSEI to consider whether it is possible to implement a bridging plan to phase the re-opening of Chorley ED.
Trust board met on the 6th October and agreed that it would be possible to reopen on a reduced hours basis, making use of the staff who have already been recruited and started, supported by additional locum doctors. This will enable Chorley ED to receive patients from 8am to 5pm. Once the Trust is assured that the recruitment of senior decision makers has progressed sufficiently we will extend the opening hours to 8am to 8pm.
Adults and children will continue to have access to the 24/7 Urgent Care Centre at Chorley, however a child or young person needing A&E services will be taken to Preston to ensure that children and young people get the best care in the right place.
Karen Partington Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“We promised that we would re-open the Emergency Department at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital as soon as we could find a safe solution and we are delivering upon that promise.
“This phased approach enables us to offer an 8-5pm Adults only A&E service to the local community from 2nd November whilst continuing our recruitment campaign for the senior decision makers that we need to offer a 12 hour service.
“This has only been possible because of many months of hard work by colleagues across the Trust, particularly our Emergency Department team who have all gone above and beyond during this pandemic – I cannot thank them enough.
“I’d also like to thank our local community for their on-going support during these unprecedented times.”