Campaigners hold A&E demo

Campaigners fighting for Chorley's A&E department to be reopened brought their battle to Wigan.

Wednesday, 21st September 2016, 4:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:57 pm
Campaigners outside Wigan Infirmary

They held a demonstration outside Wigan Infirmary’s A&E unit, which was attended by 70 people.

It coincided with similar demonstrations outside hospitals in Chorley, Preston, Bolton, Blackburn, Blackpool and Lancaster.

Protests have been held outside Chorley And South Ribble Hospital every Saturday morning since the A&E unit was temporarily closed in April due to staffing problems.

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Campaigner John Vickers

Campaigners from the Protect Chorley Hospital From Cuts And Privatisation group held Saturday’s demonstrations to highlight the impact the closure is having on other hospitals.

The A&E department was replaced with an urgent care centre which cannot treat people with serious or life-threatening illnesses and injuries, so those patients are being taken to hospitals elsewhere.

It has contributed to a rise in the number of patients being seen at Wigan’s A&E unit.

Campaigner Louise Pajak, who has been involved with advocacy since retiring as a nurse, said she was pleased with the turnout at the demonstration in Wigan.

Campaigner John Vickers

“A large number of people came from Wigan because they have had personal experiences of the inconvenience it is causing,” she said.

She believes the demonstration raised the profile of the campaign and said passing drivers showed their support.

Regular demonstrations could now be held outside Wigan’s A&E while Chorley’s unit remains closed.

Ms Pajak said: “From the response we got, because people said they believe the situation needs to be resolved as soon as possible, someone in Wigan may take the lead and have a demonstration every month.”