The trust responsible for running Ormskirk Hospital
has swiftly denied claims that overnight closures of the Children’s A&E department have been made permanent. Under plans brought in to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, the emergency department is currently closed between 10pm-8am each day and children are instead diverted to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has claimed that the temporary change was now being made permanent and was left furious after hearing the news through a concerned member of staff rather than through official channels.
The temporary opening hours were brought in during April in order to ensure enough resources were available to deal with the pandemic. Similarly, services such as physiotherapy were moved from Southport to Ormskirk to free up bed space. However, the extra travel caused concern among parents across the trust’s region, which includes Southport, Formby and West Lancashire, particularly for those still upset over the closure of the Children’s A&E at Southport and residents across Skelmersdale who have to battle poor public transport links.
Rosie Cooper is reported to have said “I am shocked at the information that children’s A&E at Ormskirk Hospital which is currently closed overnight due to Covid, will now permanently close from 10pm each evening. I am dismayed that I had to receive this information from an upset member of staff and not from the Trust who did not do me the courtesy of informing me of the decision.
“Local parents will be very concerned at this news and I am currently making contact with the trust to understand this decision and whether there is any opportunity to halt or delay it”.
But Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals NHS Trust moved quickly to deny the claims and insists that bosses have no intention of making such a decision. Trish Armstrong-Child,
Chief Executive of the hospital trust, categorically denied that the closure is permanent and said discussions have taken place to extend opening hours. “This difficult decision was taken because the Trust could not maintain safe and consistent emergency medical cover overnight while the focus of our staff was on Covid-19. It was and remains a temporary closure taken on the advice of the trust’s senior doctors”.
OK then, either a member of staff knows something or nothing. Best get the evidence and let’s all hear or see it. This institutional blindness is a curse on us all. If it’s not flooding or the Beacon Park Golf Course royalty scandal its the CCG and our medical services giving us grief. There must be someone who knows how to deliver public services efficiently and honestly?