Protest in Burnley town centre to keep children’s ward

PARENTS and politicians took to the streets of Burnley centre again to demand the town’s children’s ward is saved.

Monday, 29th November 2010, 12:15 pm

Burnley General Hospital’s Deerplay children’s ward is under threat of being closed and moved to the Royal Blackburn Hospital but Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle and his Liberal Democrat colleagues say they are still fighting to keep it in the town.

They were joined by parents whose children have been treated at the ward, including Mrs Deanne Kidd whose six-year-old son Callum needs regular treatment there. She said: “I moved to Kibble Bank in 2005 to be near Burnley General Hospital. The staff there saved Callum’s life and if the ward goes we will have to move too. We have built up a good relationship with the staff. It’s so sad.”

A meeting is to take place tomorrow with the Strategic Health Authority but Mr Birtwistle and Coun. Darren Reynolds fear for the ward’s future after witnessing boxes of documents and toys ready to be shipped out, during a recent visit.

Coun. Reynolds said: “I think it’s far from certain it’s going to stay put. However, an independent review could then see it back in Burnley. The situation is crazy.”

Mr Birtwsitle said he was to meet Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg this week about the situation, after Lancashire’s Health Scrutiny committee asked the Government to intervene.

Burnley Council leader Coun. Charlie Briggs said: “It’s diabolical. East Lancs Hospital Trust is trying to pull a flanker and treating the people of Burnley with contempt. The Lancashire Scrutiny Committee voted to keep the ward in Burnley and it seems they are ignoring that too.”