CHORLEY MP Lindsay Hoyle has written a letter to hospital bosses talking about his concerns for the accident and emergency department.

Last week the Chorley Citizen reported how nursing staff at the hospital are rostered to work until 10pm but they have wrote to bosses saying they are ‘frequently’ not able to leave at this time as there are still patients within the department.

They have complained of regularly being ‘very late off’, which ‘posed problems with their homes lives and meant that upon starting their shift, they never know what time it will end.’

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital’s A&E re-opened last year on a part-time basis, with the department accepting patients between 8am and 8pm.

Staff say they intend to withdraw from a ‘goodwill situation’ that sees them work longer hours than expected.

Mr Hoyle believes the unit is at ‘breaking point’ and staff ‘must be given immediate support from the Trust’.

Mr Hoyle said: “We know the demand is there for A&E to re-open full-time.

“The waiting times are going through the roof and you cannot make Preston bigger.

“ we cannot make Preston bigger.

“The only way to take pressure off is to expand the service in Chorley.

“Chorley is one of the fastest growing areas and there has been huge increases in the population compared to other areas.

“They have got to add to the services where people are living.”

Karen Partington, chief executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Last week some Chorley emergency department staff informed the senior team that at times they have been unable to leave work at the end of their shift, because some patients were still present and required care.“We agree that this isn’t acceptable, and apologise for the disruption this has caused them and their familiesWe have recently met with staff and the union to hear their views, and have agreed a number of actions to make sure they are able to leave work on time.

“We regret that on occasion some patients have remained in the emergency department for longer than they should.

“This is a direct consequence of our wards being exceptionally busy which causes delays admitting patients from the emergency department – extending the opening hours at Chorley would not resolve this problem.

“And it remains the case that there are not enough doctors to safely extend current opening hours of Chorley emergency department.

“Our first priority must always be to provide care and services in the safest way possible, and the current arrangements are the best option in the circumstances.

“Our emergency department staff at both Chorley and Preston, together with the wider health and care workforce are working hard to provide effective treatment during this very busy period, and we thank them all for their continued dedication and compassion.”