Senior clinicians along with the staff side committee, have issued letters of support for our decision to temporarily reconfigure our services to maintain safe and effective patient care.
The decision of our senior clinical leaders has been made to move all acute respiratory medicine from Chorley & South Ribble District General Hospital to Royal Preston Hospital. All GP admissions and ambulance calls with respiratory complaints will be directed to Royal Preston Hospital. We have also expanded our emergency department capacity.
From today (Wednesday 1st April), the emergency department at Chorley hospital will be reconfigured into a 24 hour Urgent Care Centre. This is supported by ambulatory care, the elderly care team, GP’s and specialist surgical team. The Urgent Care Centre will continue to treat a range of conditions and ambulance cases, such as chest pain, frailty and other non-respiratory medical cases.
Having available beds at Chorley enables the admission of patients that would normally go to Preston, building on local expertise in rehabilitation and frailty.
In a statement, George McLauchlan, Chair of the Medical Staff Advisory Committee, and Sunila Jain, Chair of the Local Negotiating Committee, said: “We recognise that we do not have enough resources to simultaneously run two parallel A&E services considering the number of seriously ill patients that we will likely need to deal with. Hence, we support the Trust’s temporary reorganisation of our urgent and emergency systems. We understand that these measures are time limited and that services will be reinstated as soon as possible.
“This move will allow us to utilise all our available resources to deal with acutely ill COVID19 patients on a single site (Royal Preston) with the larger of our intensive care units, in order to better care for our patients. In addition, it will reduce the risks associated with transporting infectious patients between locations. Meanwhile, our Chorley site will run a 24/7 Urgent Care and Minor Injury service, so that patients who fall into this category are treated in a safer environment for them.”
Dr Lindsey Dickinson, Clinical Chair of NHS Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group, and Dr Sumantra Mukerji, Clinical Chair of NHS Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The reconfiguration is necessary in order to best prepare for the acute and emergency needs of our population during this pandemic. We fully support our hospital colleagues to harness clinical skills and equipment so as to best respond to the anticipated surge in intensive care demand.”
Richard Maitland, Chair Person of the Joint Staff Side Committee said: “The medical arm of our joint committee (LNC) have supported their clinician’s recommendations and are in favour of this very difficult decision. They are satisfied that this is the only way forward in the short-term to support patient and staff safety. Now is the time to all pull together and support each other and as Joint Staff Side committee we support our clinical colleagues at this extremely difficult time.”
Michael Stewart, Divisional Medical Director and ED Consultant said: “We strongly believe that the safest, best and clinically the most appropriate option is to centralise the high acuity teams at one of our hospital sites during the peak of the pandemic.”
You can read more about the changes and read the letters in full here