COUNCILLORS are urging hospital bosses to ensure all options relating to the future of the borough’s accident and emergency (A&E) service are put before residents.

A motion strongly opposing a single site A&E in Preston was backed unanimously on Tuesday with councillors declaring such a move could cost lives.

It comes after more than two years of campaigning to get Chorley’s A&E re-opened on a 24-hour basis.

Cllr Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “We feel so strongly about this issue I felt it was important we got the backing of councillors of all political parties on this issue so it leaves hospital bosses in no doubt about where we stand.

“We know there are financial pressures and we’ve heard all of the excuses about not being able to recruit enough staff but fundamentally we need to make sure residents in Chorley have easy access to care if they need it in an emergency.

“Asking them to travel up the M6 to Preston to visit A&E, which is often congested with traffic, is not acceptable and we want to make sure residents are consulted on every option available to the hospital trust.”

The notice of motion, which was put before the full council meeting, said that having a single site A&E at Preston to also serve Chorley and South Ribble would have a detrimental impact on the quality of local health care for the local population and that Chorley needs a 24-hour A&E department.

A formal consultation on proposed changes has been put back to spring.