Column: ‘Proposed changes to Grantham hospital’s emergency care are worrying’ says Labour’s Charmaine Morgan

Labour councillor Charmaine Morgan.
Labour councillor Charmaine Morgan.

Kevin Turner, deputy chief executive from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, has responded to my enquiry over the future plans for Grantham Hospital A&E.

There are plans to provide an ambulatory emergency care centre at Grantham Hospital. This concerning news raises more questions. Research indicates that ambulatory emergency care centres provide a centre for care where patients are assessed but not admitted overnight. Instead they are treated within the day or required to come back for further exploratory assessment under appointment.

If so, this is a far cry from the A&E service that existed at Grantham Hospital a decade ago. I have asked for a clarification regarding what this news really means for A&E provision at the hospital including any ramifications for wards with the function of caring for critically ill patients.

Hospital administrators are keen to assure us there is a future for Grantham ‘as a model hospital’. Real improvements to elective (planned) care are very welcome. However exactly what the ‘model’ is that is proposed for our hospital may be a far cry from what local people and visitors to this area need in terms of acute care and what we had.

Cuts to our local A&E and our maternity unit put us at risk. For some conditions time is a critical factor. On a trip to Lincoln this Tuesday via the A1/A46 traffic was at a virtual standstill. It is a sobering thought that this is the preferred route for our ambulance crews between Grantham and Lincoln.

Newark Hospital is also coming under scrutiny as people there share our issues with delays and a lack of acute care locally.

According to a review the NHS is now in real difficulties. Most NHS trusts across England are running out of money. In the East Midlands the NHS trusts at Peterborough and Stamford, Sherwood Forest Hospitals, North Lincs and Goole and Kettering are all struggling. This dreadful situation must not continue.