Six months ago I wrote about my concern over the sudden closure of Chorley Accident and Emergency. Sadly it is still closed to this day, with the hospital trust blaming staff shortages and an inability to effectively recruit.
This week 80 people from Chorley and the surrounding areas travelled to Parliament to make their voices heard. The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, claimed he had no time to meet with them, but I joined Lindsay Hoyle and a selection of other MPs to listen to their concerns.
I met people who were clearly passionate about their local community and rightly feel they should have access to essential services. It is shameful that they have been left to feel abandoned by our NHS and by our Government.
The closure of Chorley A&E adds pressure to already stretched services across the region, including here in Bolton. We already have a high demand for services and this will increase over the winter months, the added pressure of displaced people from other towns will only make matters worse.
If one Trust feels it cannot find enough doctors to function it may only be a matter of time before other services close for the same reason, unless the Government listens and takes action.
Thank you to all of those campaigners who took the time to come to Parliament on Monday. You have my support and I shall continue to work with my colleagues around the region to push the Government to re-open A&E as soon as possible.