An online petition calling for an end to night-time closures of Grantham A&E department – and demanding emergency care be fully restored – has passed the 10,000 mark.
As this story goes live on the Journal website, the total number of people to have signed the petition stands at 10,549.
The petition reads: “I oppose plans to cement the downgrading of Grantham A&E by ULHT.
“I call for the restoration of a fully supported A&E Unit at Grantham. Grantham is a key transport hub located in South West Lincolnshire on the A1. In addition to serving a local population of 65,000 people, thousands of people travel near or through Grantham daily on the A1, the A52 and on the Eastcoast Mainline railway. This area needs an A&E Unit.
“Grantham Hospital had a fully operational A&E Unit, a consultant led midwifery unit and Paediatric Ward. Under United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust ULHT, services have been eroded. Paediatric overnight stays were stopped, our Maternity Unit was closed and now the new ULHT management team plan to cement the undermining of vital A&E services for good.
“ULHT propose to send people with acute emergency need to Lincoln Hospital. Lincoln Hospital is struggling to cope with its existing workload. It has among the highest mortality rates in the country.
“The area has poor transport and poor road links. Local people without a car or unable to drive cannot access Lincoln A & E without using an ambulance.
“East Midlands Ambulance Service is struggling to cope with its workload whilst delivering a timely quality service.
“Grantham needs its own A&E Unit. Stop the cuts at Grantham now.
“Research shows for every 1 km travelled there is an increased risk of patient mortality. Grantham is at least 38km (23 miles) from next nearest A&E unit. People with respiratory and allergy problems are at particular risk of delay.
“Lincs Fire & Rescue First Responders support EMAS. They are facing budget cuts.”