Members of campaign group Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital met with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last night in London to tell him about their concerns for the future of the town’s A&E department.
Jody Clark and others were joined by Grantham MP Nick Boles to discuss the A&E situation with Mr Hunt at the Department of Health.
Jody said: “We had half an hour and we explained in great detail the issues we are faced with. We highlighted the importance of our full A&E to our rural community, the difficulties we face with transport, the importance of Grantham’s strategic location to major transport links and asked him to help us resolve the staffing issue as we feel the trust could have managed this better, had other options. After all - it’s their job to manage staff and not fair on us to live in a postcode lottery for emergency care.”
The group was joined by Paul Lewis who used to work in the A&E department at Grantham. Jody said: “Paul was amazing. His invaluable knowledge and experience gave such an insight into the fantastic and life saving work our amazing NHS staff do at Grantham A&E - so massive respect and gratitude to Paul for coming with us.”
Jody added: “Jeremy assured us that he will raise our concerns with NHS improvements and that we will not lose our A&E. It is temporary. He did say that Nick Boles is continually sharing the situation with him and keeping him updated. It’s great to have our local MP so actively involved in our campaign and helping us to take this to the top.”
A portfolio, compiled by Melissa Darcey and Pip Dowse, containing the group’s concerns and personal testimonies of patients and staff were presented to Mr Hunt. The Health Secretary promised to take the group’s concerns to NHS Improvements which is responsible for overseeing the NHS trusts.
Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital campaigners Mel Powles and Melissa Darcey also joined the group to meet Mr Hunt together with Nigel Rivers and former Grantham mayor Ian Selby.
Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital will be manning another stall at Grantham market on Saturday to publicise their campaign. People can go along and sign the petition and talk about the campaign.
Campaign group SOS Grantham is leading a second protest march through Grantham to the hospital on Saturday, October 29.
Photographs courtesy of Ian Selby and Pip Dowse.