I feel I must write in defence of SOS Grantham Hospital.
SOS was set up by people who were members of Grantham Hospital Defence Committee, who were wanting a more proactive response to the cuts in our hospital services.
At a time when even Gary Walker (previous chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust) and David Bowles (previous chairman) both say the cuts led to unsatisfactory services and were a danger to patients’ health, I find Ian Mihill’s response inadequate at best. Mr Mihill backs more cuts to put more patients’ lives at risk and sides, as usual, with Lincolnshire Health Authority.
The truth is: In Shaping Health for Mid-Kesteven’s April minutes they decided to change the name of Grantham Hospital to Integrated Urgent Care Centre. Then they changed it to Integrated A&E as the feeling was the general public would be unclear what was meant by urgent care. This was before the public consultation period. Grantham Hospital was named by the people who raised money to build it and is a part of our history and we should do all in our power to prevent any name change. Once we lose the name we will lose even more services. Was this discussed in the consultation period with the general public?
So far there is no public information on how many expectant mothers have their babies in ambulances before they reach Lincoln Hospital, and also how many sick people die in ambulances on the way to Lincoln Hospital. Some honesty about this would be appreciated. Was it discussed in the public consultation?
I cannot finish without mentioning Paul Lewis (A&E Clinical Nurse Manager, Grantham Hospital). If anyone was bullied, he must be top of the list. All he did was tell the truth and try to do his best under, as Gary Walker put it, “poor care in hospitals by Stalinist rules.” Wherever you are Paul, we wish you well, you are missed.