Grantham Hospital protester to stand as an independent in Sleaford by-election

Sarah Stock, of Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital, has announced she will stand as an independent candidate in the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election.

Sarah Stock, of Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital, has announced she will stand as an independent candidate in the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election.

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Grantham Hospital protester Sarah Stock has announced she will stand as an Independent candidate in the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election on December 8.

Ms Stock is a campaigner with the Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital protest group which is demanding the return of a 24 hour service at Grantham A&E which has been closed overnight since August.

She said: “With the down-grading of local hospitals, the national agenda for changes to our NHS is not working for Lincolnshire and a rural strategy needs to be actioned urgently.

“Emergency support services in our large rural area are struggling, with potentially serious consequences for residents, and small market towns like Sleaford and North Hykeham need putting back on the map. The reliance on apathy and the feeling that we cannot effect change, is almost expected it seems. Not any more. Lincolnshire needs to be heard.

“Supported by the Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital group, of which I am an avid campaigner, but standing as an Independent, I am focused on highlighting the plight of our hospital crisis and the urgent need for change in rural areas to support our local schools, small businesses and transport system.”

Ms Stock was born in Lincoln Hospital and brought up in Ruskington. She attended the Girls High School in Sleaford and trained as a Registered Nurse at the Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, qualifying in 1992. She lives in Billingborough and has three children who attend secondary schools locally.

She added: “After a shock diagnosis of breast cancer in June this year, just after my 45th birthday, and following radical, bi-lateral mastectomy in August, I have found from both nurse and patient perspective that our local services and NHS need urgent intervention.

“It is time for national government and public service policy makers to fully recognise the impact of their decisions for those of us who do not live in London and the South.

“Increasingly, accessible and accountable services are being lost or downgraded in our rural communities, where transport networks are at their worst.

“Decisions being made with little or no public consultation and lack of transparency locally and nationally is not acceptable. Yet again, it seems, rural communities are left to fend for themselves and I am proud to be a Lincolnshire Yellow-Belly and stand up for what I believe in.”

The Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election was triggered by the resignation of MP Stephen Phillips who said he was stepping down as a result of “irreconcilable policy differences with the current Government”.