Grantham MP Nick Boles insists there is no intention of turning the town’s A&E unit into an urgent care centre.
Mr Boles says the local clinical commissioning group needs to be more open about the options for the unit which has been closed overnight since August last year.
The MP’s statement comes a day after the annual meeting of the South West Lincolnshire CCG and a week before a meeting of the Lincolnshire Health and Wellbeing Board which will discuss a report by John Turner, head of South Lincs CCG, which says local health authorities are working together to explore an interim 24 hour urgent care service for Grantham hospital.
Campaigners have criticised the Trust and CCG, saying the situation is confusing and they need to lay out their plans clearly.
Mr Boles said: “It is a great shame that bureaucrats at NHS England won’t let local commissioners at the CCG be more open about the different options for the future of Grantham A&E.
“So I am going to be crystal clear. There is no plan to downgrade the existing A&E service at Grantham and turn it into an urgent care centre. If there were, I would fight it tooth and nail. What is being discussed is the option of retaining the existing A&E service from early morning until late evening and re-opening it at night with the staffing appropriate for an urgent care centre or minor injuries unit.
“While other options will also be explored and consulted on, I think this idea is particularly worth pursuing as it offers the prospect of restoring Grantham’s 24/7 emergency service in a way that isn’t so dependent on the recruitment of A&E doctors.”
United LIncolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust will hold its AGM on Friday afternoon at Lincoln City’s football ground.