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'Good progress' being made on using empty beds at Burnley hospital
12:00pm Saturday 7th September 2013 in News
‘GOOD progress’ is being made with using empty beds at Burnley General Hospital, as bosses bid to relieve pressure on staff at Royal Blackburn, according to an MP.
Among the findings of NHS chief Sir Bruce Keogh, who made wide-ranging criticisms of East Lancashire Hospitals Trust in July, were concerns that the Blackburn site was seeing too many patients.
Sir Bruce said more patients should be sent to ‘step down’ beds in Burnley when their emergency care finished.
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson visited Burnley General yesterday and said two wards had been re-opened since the findings were published.
He said: “They’re working on it. They are quite keen to bring services back and invest in the Burnley site and are looking at how more patients can be cared for. There’s a lot of change going on but they are making progress.”
Burnley’s A&E services were controversially downgraded in 2007, with emergency patients directed to Blackburn, and the Keogh Report said the split between the towns appeared to be creating ‘inequity of services’, while patients and families were often left confused about where they should go for care.
But Mr Stephenson said he was assured that hospital chiefs were committed to the Burnley site, with the new £9million Urgent Care Centre set to bring a major improvement.
He said: “It looks like it’ll be a great new addition to the hospital.
“I talked with the chief executive Mark Brearley and some of the contractors about how services will be improved and it’s very encouraging. It’s a multi-million pound investment and will be radically better than the current facility in the old A&E ward.
“It will have a bigger capacity and have more staff, and can deal with 80 per cent of the cases which the old emergency department could handle. This is about as good as we are going to get.”
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