CAMPAIGNERS will continue to battle for Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital to re-open their accident and emergency department full-time.

It is almost 12 months since trust bosses decided to reverse their decision to shut the A&E which was closed for nine months after a failure to recruit enough doctors to staff the unit.

The department re-opened from 8am until 8pm alongside an Urgent Care Centre which was established after the closure for patients who were not in life-threatening situations.

It came after a concerted campaign to opposed the move and every Saturday morning since April 2016 hundreds of people protested outside the hospital.

Now, the campaigners say their fight is not over as the department is on a 'knife-edge' and they will continue to battle for health chiefs to make it full-time.

Sue Holdsworth, press officer for Protect Chorley and South Ribble Hospital from cuts and Privatisation, believes their efforts and other across the country will make health bosses stand up and take notice.

She said: "We managed to get the A&E re-opened for 12 hours a day.

"It is still on a knife-edge as you do not take into account there being a major accident or pressure on the motorway getting up to Preston or Blackburn with the blue lights in an ambulance.

"If you consider someone could be having a heart attack, aneurysm or even a stroke and you get stuck when time is important for treatment it may be affecting people's lives.

"We are going to keep on fighting every week to push for it to return full-time."

Mrs Holdsworth admits they have been delighted with the support they have received for the campaign.

"It has been fantastic as our MP Lindsay Hoyle has been down along with other councillors from our area and others too.

"There are 15,000 active members on our Facebook page and then depending on the circumstances with work and the weather there can be between 50 and 200 people every Saturday outside the hospital doing our public show to fight plans to re-open full time."

Mrs Holdsworth insists it is important they continue to fight on.

She said: "The NHS belongs to us the people.

"People need to wake up and realise that if the NHS goes what happens then?

"It will affect our future generations and we have to go and fight for it."

Lindsay Hoyle MP, said: “The campaign to re-open Chorley Accident and Emergency Unit has been relentless in its efforts over the last two years. The people of Chorley have shown their unwavering support for the amazing staff of the NHS and for our hospital. Since the sudden closure of the unit in April 2016 I’ve met regularly with the Health Secretary, the Health Minister, Chief Executives of NHS England, Improvement, Chorley and South Ribble CCG and of course the Hospital Trust.

"During these heated meetings it has been an immense support to know that the people of Chorley all feel as strongly as I do. The people I’m meeting with and holding to account, know that I won’t back down because the people of our community who have been born, patched-up, operated on, or witnessed the care our loved ones have had in the final days, place Chorley Hospital at the heart of our community.

"Funding and staffing shortages continue to loom over the Hospital and I commit, as I did at the General Election in June to working as hard as ever in 2017 to see a return to a 24/7 fully operational A&E unit at Chorley.”