A&E closure: Protest march through Grantham planned

Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital WAaOCOXMo_7qt9IkKPCD
Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital WAaOCOXMo_7qt9IkKPCD
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A protest march through Grantham town centre is planned for Saturday, September 3.

The march will begin at noon in St Peter’s Hill.

Crowds are asked to gather on the green in front of the Guildhall to join the march to the Grantham Hospital.

It is the latest stage of a battle to put a stop to night-time closures of Grantham’s A&E department, which began last night (Wednesday). A protest and candlelight vigil were held yesterday evening in front of the entrance to the hospital, in Manthorpe Road.

The vigil follows a protest rally held on Saturday, against the closure of the A&E department between 6.30pm and 9am. The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) has instigated the closure due to a staffing crisis at its other two main hospitals, Lincoln County and Boston Pilgrim.

The events were organised by campaign group SOS Grantham Hospital, which is also calling for full A&E services to restored at Grantham after a reduction of the service over recent years.

Meanwhile, a campaign page has been set up on Facebook – Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital – and in a short space of time has gained over 5,200 members – join the group here.

Dr Suneil Kapadia, medical director for ULHT, said: “The decision to temporarily change the opening hours at Grantham A&E is due to a reduction in the availability of doctors at Lincoln and Boston together with an increase in the demand for emergency care services.

“We know this has been an unpopular decision, and we share the frustrations of Grantham people. This hasn’t been an easy decision to make but it was made to protect patients and maintain safe services.

“We support the right of people to protest or hold vigils to show they care about Grantham Hospital. But we ask people to remain off the hospital site to maintain an appropriate environment for patients and not to interfere with the running of the hospital.”