My wife and I attended last Thursday’s SKDC meeting, during which Dr Kapadia and his colleague gave a very slick presentation to our councillors as to the state of affairs and proposals for the future of ULHT and indeed Grantham Hospital.
Essentially, the outcome was the following:
Due to profligate spending, which seems to be everyone’s fault but their own, ULHT is now millions of pounds overspent and this situation is due to worsen.
It was not helped by a trip abroad to find hospital staff who were then not tied to a contractsufficiently long nor rigorous enough and then once in England soon left for pastures anew. Bear in mind when Grantham was a ‘stand alone’ hospital before the invention of ULHT it was ‘in the black’. They now plan another such trip.
Their answer to all this is to turn Grantham Hospital into what is essentially a cottage hospital, with the bone thrown to we residents that some elective surgery will take place there. However, our A&E department will essentially be no more – it will basically only deal with cuts and bruises etc whilst even minor bone breaks will result in the long journey to Queen’s Medical Centre, or Boston, or Lincoln, which they laughably stated was about 45 minutes from Grantham!
Serious cases will be ‘stabilised’ and moved on, or even bypass Grantham entirely, as EMAS drivers seem to have been instructed already.
Under their plan, Grantham will be downgraded to a level 1 ‘urgent care centre’. Boston Pilgrim will become an Emergency Centre, whilst most other services will be transferred to Lincoln, a level 3 SEC.
A few councillors were allowed to ask one question of them, but were not given any opportunity by the chair, Cllr R Wootten, to come back on the answers nor challenge anything further. Indeed, he seemed to think that everything, as he stated in the Journal recently, is rosy for the future of our hospital , because he had been ‘assured’ it was so!
Grantham’s population was stated as being 43,000 and growing. We are going to need more than this and a more vociferous response from those who represent us.
I appeal to SKDC and Nick Boles to get more involved, directly too, in the wellbeing of their electorate, many of whom cannot afford to visit sick relatives on the dreadfully inadequate transport services linking Grantham to Lincoln, Boston or Nottingham, a factor not even considered it seems. And on behalf of the pregnant and our ageing population, of children, too. This plan is just not good enough. Do our politicians care?