THE parents of a girl who is battling a bowel disease have said they would be ‘devastated’ if the children’s ward was moved out of Burnley.

Protests against the planned closure are to continue this weekend, with the Liberal Democrats prospective Pendle MP Afzal Anwar chaining himself to the hospital doors.

Mr Anwar will be chained to the entrance in Casterton Avenue from 10am to 8pm on Saturday.

Nine-year-old Katie Mac-ken, of North Street, Brier-cliffe, who is undergoing tests for a bowel disease, often needs to see a consultant at short notice, an arrangement that staff at the hospital less than a mile away can easily facilitate.

But if the ward is moved to Blackburn it will pose serious problems for mum Debbie, dad Clive, and their two other children.

Debbie said: “Like a lot of other kids, Katie has an arrangement with the consultant at Burnley bec-ause she often needs urgent treatment.

“We can just ring and be seen the next day or sometimes the same day. The ward is nearly always full.

“Katie used to hate going to hospital as well but she is more comfortable now as she knows the staff. This will change all that.”

Along with a friend, Katie recently dedicated her birthday to raising money for the Deerplay children’s ward. Between them, they raised £210 which the hospital used to buy an Xbox.

Debbie said making arrangements to travel to Blackburn at a moment’s notice would cause them problems. She said: “I’ve two other young children to look after and neither of them are at school.

“My husband Clive doesn’t get home until late and although my mum finds it daunting driving, she can manage to come over and help.

“It is easier because the Burnley hospital is only five minutes away. But if we had to travel all the way to Blackburn, I don’t know how we’d manage it. It would be devastating.”

Katie, who has several certificates for her bravery, said: “I like it at Burnley because I know the doctors and nurses there.”