Children at a Grantham school have written letters asking for their town’s A&E department to be reopened 24 hours a day.
The pupils of Belton Lane Primary School, aged eight and nine, presented their letters, together with their teacher Victoria Atter, to Charmaine Morgan, chair of hospital support group SOS Grantham Hospital.
SOSGH has collected 55,000 signatures for a petition calling for the full reinstatment of A&E at Grantham. The petition and letters are due to be presented to Downing Street in the autumn.
Coun Morgan said: “While we now have 55,000 signatures on our petition only over 18s can legally sign it. We believe our children should have a voice too. I was really pleased that Belton Lane accepted our suggestion that their project work be put to practical use and that the children write letters in support of the petition.
“Their letters are moving and hugely concerning as they reveal the importance of Grantham A&E to them and their families.One boy, for example, describes his harrowing experience as he was left struggling to breathe after suffering a severe asthma attack when Grantham A&E was closed. He had to travel to Lincoln and waited hours there to be seen.
“When I visited the children I explained why the NHS was formed and how important the core principles of our NHS are which are to provide medical care to everyone free and based on need. We looked at ulht’s decision to close Grantham A&E at night and if the trust is now meeting those principals.”
Grantham A&E has been closed overnight since August last year. The UNited Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is due to make a decision on whether to continue that closure when its next board meeting is held on August 1 in Sleaford.
Victoria Atter said: “We are really pleased that we covered this with the children and it’s made them feel like they are doing something to help the town. As a parent myself, I want the hospital open so anything we can do to help we will.”
Coun Morgan said if any other schools wished to write letters in support of the petition they should contact SOSGH on 07398 156296 or email firstname.lastname@example.org