Chorley A&E – Comment from Mike Wedgeworth
26th May 2016
Mike Wedgeworth, Chair of Healthwatch Lancashire, comments:
“I completely understand the passion from people in Chorley and South Ribble to keep the Chorley A & E open, which is an aim I share.
“I understand that some people are unhappy with the comments I have made and would like to assure people in Chorley and South Ribble that we are taking all the reaction we are getting seriously, including those from the Protect Chorley Hospital From Cuts and Privatisation group, and will be taking it into account in further meetings with the Trust. In such discussions we will aim to re-inforce their desire to re-open as soon as possible.”
“In addition, I arrived at the hospital last Saturday as the crowds were gathering, and had a good talk with many of those who were there, including Lindsay Hoyle and the Leader of Chorley Council. During these conversations, of which a very short snippet was broadcast on television, I said the following:
That I was impressed with the turn out, and saw it as strong demonstration of the commitment of local people to keep the hospital open.
I support the re-opening of the hospital.
The role of Healthwatch was to champion and support the patient and the citizen. I think you will see from our web-site, the reports we have produced and the activities we undertake that this is exactly what we do.
I do not agree with Lindsay (who, incidentally I have known for many years) that the blame for this situation is to be laid at the door of the Trust, but that it is a manifestation of a national shortage of skilled medical personnel. Having had discussions with the Chief Executive, I believe that the Trust is doing all it can to re-open the department.
I said specifically that attacking the Trust and its Chief Executive was aiming at the wrong target. Pressure should be aimed at the Government to invest more in the NHS and in the training and supply of doctors. (Lindsay Hoyle agreed in the broadcast piece that the Government has a responsibility.)
I said that such attacks on the Trust could deter doctors from joining it because that showed it in a bad light. This certainly does not mean that there should not be demonstrations like last Saturday’s. I repeat I was impressed by it. Rather, I hope that the participants might recognise where the problem really lies.”