Lancashire

Chorley Hospital A&E temporary closure prompts protest

Chorley Hospital demonstration
Image caption Chorley Hospital will be downgraded to an urgent care service from Monday

Hundreds of campaigners have held a protest outside a Lancashire hospital over the temporary closure of its accident and emergency department.

Chorley Hospital will be downgraded to an urgent care service from Monday.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said there were "no other safe options" due to a shortage of doctors.

The trust said ambulances will take emergency patients to other hospitals including the Royal Preston Hospital, 14m (23km) away.

Chorley Hospital has eight of the 14 doctors it needs and can therefore only staff less than half the hours required.

The town's MP, Lindsay Hoyle, said he had "not given up hope".

"We can't put lives at risk by overcrowding the other A&Es," he added.

A parliamentary petition to keep the hospital's A&E department open has gained over 14,000 signatures.

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