Temporary changes to Chorley Emergency Department
What this means for you
What is happening?
The emergency department at Chorley is being replaced by an Urgent Care Centre from Monday 18th April. The Urgent Care Centre will be operating between the hours of 8am-8pm, 7 days a week.
The urgent care service will be provided by a combination of emergency department consultants, nurse practitioners, GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants. The team will be able to assess patients, and treat minor injuries and illness. Patients who attend the Urgent Care Centre who need specialist treatment will be transferred swiftly to Royal Preston Hospital.
Outside the Urgent Care Centre opening hours patients should phone 111 for advice, or attend their nearest emergency department or call 999, if they need urgent help for serious and life-threatening injuries and conditions. From Monday 18th April, the Euxton GP out of hours service will also be based at the Urgent Care Centre
to provide additional support which can be accessed via the 111 service.
Why has the service been changed?
In recent months it has become increasingly difficult for us to staff the middle grade doctor rota at our emergency departments, for a number of reasons: there is a national shortage of emergency medicine doctors; the trust hasn't been allocated enough doctors in training who help staff rotas; and the application of the national
agency cap has affected the ability to secure locums to fill gaps in the rota.
We have taken a number of actions to recruit a permanent workforce but we have not been able to secure the number of staff we need to continue to safely staff the rotas. So the emergency department at Chorley will be temporarily replaced by an urgent care service until the staffing crisis is resolved.
Remember, your pharmacist or GP can provide treatment for minor ailments such as coughs, colds, flu symptoms, sore throats, earache, sinusitis and urinary tract infections.
The Urgent Care Centre will not have full facilities and support services of an acute Accident and Emergency department and can therefore not provide a service for acutely unwell patients inclusive of the following;
- Extensive trauma
- Extensive burns
- Patients requiring resuscitation
- Suspected acute heart attack
- Suspected acute stroke
- High risk gastrointestinal haemorrhage
- Sick children (cardiac arrest/peri-arrest, head injuries)
What exactly will happen at the new Urgent Care Centre?
On arrival patients will initially be assessed to prioritise the urgency of their care, following this the patients will be seen and treated by a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner.
More than half of the people who currently attend the emergency department at Chorley have conditions that can be treated safely and appropriately by an urgent care service, or by another service such as a GP, pharmacist, or self-care at home.
North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has protocols in place to ensure patients are transferred directly to the most appropriate service. From Monday 18th April 999 ambulances will no longer take patients to Chorley Hospital, but will instead transfer patients directly to Royal Preston Hospital or the nearest appropriate emergency department. We are working with NWAS for the Urgent Care Centre to be kite marked by North West Ambulance service, which means that if patients call an ambulance but their condition is not life threatening, they may be taken to the Urgent Care Centre for treatment rather than to a local Accident and Emergency department.
This is a temporary replacement and the situation may change in the future. Please see our website for further updates www.lancsteachinghospitals.nhs.uk