Chorley's new £17.5m eye care unit approved

New unit at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital Image copyright Lancashire Teaching Hospitals

A new £17.5m eye care and outpatients unit is to be built at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital after plans were backed by councillors.

Chorley Council's planning committee approved the four-storey unit, which will have three new operating theatres.

Clinical director of ophthalmology Shveta Bansal said the hospital did not currently have the theatre and clinical space to deliver the care needed.

The new unit is expected to be open by October 2021.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands the scheme is unrelated to the forthcoming public consultation over the future of the accident and emergency unit at the hospital, which also has implications for how the rest of the site would operate.

Committee member Councillor Alex Hilton said as someone working in healthcare, he viewed the project as "a great opportunity".

Fellow member Councillor Aaron Beaver said it was good to see a service returning to Chorley after others had migrated in the opposite direction to Preston in recent years.

'Preserving sight'

The new operating theatres will see two reserved for ophthalmology and a third for other day patient procedures.

An extra outpatients department and day ward will also be incorporated into the new building on the Euxton Lane site.

Its focus will be eye care that is currently delivered from various parts of the Royal Preston Hospital.

Ms Bansal told the committee that science and technology had evolved "a lot over the past 20 years and so many conditions which were untreatable before are now treatable…and sight can be preserved".

But she added: "I'm sorry to say that our premises haven't changed in the last 20 years. Our patients have multiplied and the number of diseases we diagnose has multiplied - but our infrastructure is no different."

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