CHIEFS at Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust have moved to allay fears that the children’s accident and emergency department at Ormskirk Hospital will be permanently closed overnight – saying that it ‘was and remains’ a temporary measure.
It has been shut between 10pm and 8am daily from Monday, April 6, with patients attending Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, which is roughly an 18 mile drive from Ormskirk Hospital.
Trish Armstrong-Child, Chief Executive, said: "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.
"Although the number of Covid cases has fallen, the effects of the virus continue to disrupt the work of our hospitals. We also need to be able to respond quickly to any increase in Covid cases.
"I have assured MP Rosie Cooper that the information provided to her office is incorrect.
"The Trust keeps the temporary closure of the department under constant review with the support of NHS partners. An option we are currently exploring is to potentially extend the opening hours."
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper contacted the Champion earlier this week to say that she was ‘shocked and dismayed’ by what she had heard, but the Trust has since moved to quell her fears.