A report claiming that having an A&E service in Chorley is ‘not clinically viable’ has been slammed by council bosses.

The document, which will be put before a committee of GPs next week, outlines eight options – none of which offer clinical support for a full provision of A&E at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.

Senior councillors are calling on health bosses to revisit the report and come up with a solution that makes an A&E clinically viable.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “We, and I’m sure the thousands of people who have campaigned to protect the Chorley and South Ribble A&E, find the options set to be put before us as completely unacceptable.

“We are totally opposed to losing the A&E in Chorley and we firmly believe it should be a 24-hour service.

“If the authors of the report believe it isn’t clinically viable then they should be looking at what would make it viable and focussing on that – not looking to downgrade the hospital further and depriving residents across Chorley & South Ribble of a service that they need.”

Chorley and South Ribble A&E has been operating on a part-time basis for more than two years and it was closed for much of 2016.

The closure and subsequent partial re-opening has put increasing pressure on neighbouring hospitals and left people needing emergency care queuing in ambulances to be seen by a doctor.

“What we are seeing here is a series of failures by local and national NHS leaders, which has led us to where we are today,” said Councillor Bradley.

“A report by Lancashire County Council’s health scrutiny committee at the time said that local health organisations have failed to act soon enough to avert a staffing crisis and since then they’ve been sliding further and further down the hill to a point where we are now being told there is no clinically viable option for an A&E in Chorley.

“It’s absolutely bonkers and is putting lives in danger because the other A&E’s in Lancashire cannot cope with the extra demand it puts upon them.

“An independent review commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement in 2016 found that the A&E could safely open 12 hours per day, which led to its part-time opening, so what has changed now that just a few years later this is no longer clinically viable while we have growing demand on health services?

“I appreciate the options for an A&E are recommended to be left in for the public consultation, but members of the public will have no confidence in the consultation process if they are being told that in reality the options are not clinically viable.

“If health bosses were serious about giving residents the hospital services they deserve then a clinically viable option for retaining an A&E should be put forward outlining what would be required to make that happen.”