The critical care unit at Grantham Hospital is being run down so that an A&E unit at Grantham Hospital will no longer be viable, it has been claimed.
The claim comes from Councillor Mark Whittington, who says a source has told him that the Grantham unit is being run by consultant anaesthetists who are producing results above the national average.
Coun Whittington says he has been told that the unit needs to be run by an intensive care consultant and the hospitals trust is using this as an excuse to run it down.
Coun Whittington said: “As a level 1 service Grantham Hospital will not be able to admit acute patients which means none that require admission from A&E. It quite simply means that Grantham Hospital won’t have an A&E without at least a level 2 critical care/high dependency unit (HDU) to support it. It was previously downgraded from a level 3 to a level 2 some years ago. There has been no public consultation on this.”
Coun Whittington has written to the chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Jan Sobieraj, to ask him what the trust intends to do with the critical care unit.
In the letter he says: “I would have thought that if it was your intention to fully re-open Grantham Hospital A&E to its previous level then you would require a level 3 critical care/HDU unit.”
Dr Adam Wolverson, clinical director for theatres, anaesthesia and critical care medicine (Lincoln and Grantham hospitals) said the unit in Grantham historically has been labelled as HDU/level 2, does not meet the required standards for critical care units as set by NHS England and cannot be regarded as one.
He said: “This has been the situation for some time and indeed there have not been any consultants specialising in intensive care medicine at Grantham for a number of years. Following the new national specification, the name of the critical care unit at Grantham has been changed to an acute care unit to reflect the care it provides for patients.
“This does not change the quality or type of care given to the vast majority of patients or the expertise of staff who work there. For the avoidance of doubt, the service isn’t changing – just the name – nor are there plans for this to happen.”