Hospital bosses have been forced to deny a claim from West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper that the Children’s A+E department at Ormskirk will close permanently overnight.

A statement has been issued by the Trust in response to the claim that the department “will now permanently close from 10pm each evening.”

The department has shut its doors from 10pm each night since April, with emergency paediatrics patients being diverted to Alder Hey.

In August OTS News was the first media outlet to ask the Trust when the department was to fully reopen. While preparing that piece, it was alleged to OTS that the department would never reopen overnight. OTS could not verify the allegation, which was also strenuously denied by the Trust when asked, and was not included in our original article.

Since publication, the Trust has confirmed that part of a £1.8m funding boost from the government for Winter cover will be spent on the department.

Labour MP Rosie Cooper 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.”

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 Rosie Cooper MP 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.”