MP’s concerns over impact of A&E closure

Yvonne Fovargue
Yvonne Fovargue

A Wigan borough MP has voiced concerns about the impact the closure of Chorley’s A&E will have on Wigan Infirmary’s emergency department.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust said it does not expect any knock-on effects but Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue believes it is “bound to place greater pressure” on staff at the Infirmary.

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital’s A&E department has been downgraded from this week to an urgent care centre due to a staffing crisis.

Ms Fovargue said: “I am deeply concerned about the impact that the closure will have on Wigan 
A&E.

“On the day of the announcement, I spent several hours with NHS staff at Royal Albert Edward Hospital and the staff I spoke to were concerned about the additional pressures it would place on them, particularly as Wigan is running with the same level of vacancies in junior doctors as Chorley and will be expected to take over a third of patients with no additional 
resources.

“Closure of a neighbouring A&E Department is bound to place greater pressure on our local NHS and it is shocking that closures can be announced without a proper assessment of the knock on effects that will be felt in the system.

“Health secretary Jeremy Hunt should not have allowed this to happen on his watch and he must now urgently review this closure.”

WWL director of operations and performance Mary Fleming said: “At this moment in time we are not anticipating a significant impact on our A&E due to the reduction of services at Chorley.

“As a high performing Trust we will, of course, do everything we can in supporting our neighbouring Trusts and NWAS to make sure patients are received and treated safely, and in a timely manner.”