A hospital support group says clarity is needed over the full re-opening of Grantham A&E.
SOS Grantham Hospital has sent a request to United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, Lincolnshire Health and Care (LHAC) and Allan Kitt, chief officer of South West Lincolnsolnsire CCG, calling for clarity following the closure of the A&E department in Grantham overnight in August.
Chair of SOS Grantham Hospital Coun Charmaine Morgan says she is particularily concerned at the perception Grantham A&E may be reopening as it was prior to closure.
Coun Morgan says that feedback she has had from health professionals and from a discussion with Mr Kitt last Thursday indicate that the role played by Grantham A&E unit is being revisited with important ‘admissions criteria’ currently under review.
Coun Morgan said: “Current admissions criteria include patients in need of resuscitation and stabilisation. In addition to those with fractures of limbs, this covers a wide range of emergency medical conditions including heart failure, severe allergies, severe infections i.e. sepsis, asthmatic attacks, substance misuse - accidental and suicides.”
Coun Morgan told Mr Kitt it is vital Grantham retains staff adequately skilled who are able to administer resuscitation and stabilisation locally or lives will be at risk. She said the distances to alternative A&E units are simply too great.
Coun Morgan added: “Given current indications it is not yet clear what services are to be provided or over what duration. LCC Health Scrutiny called for the unit to be re-opened with the services available prior to closure. ULHT and SWLincs CCG must listen to us all. We need this service.
“If they downgrade the admissions criteria it could not only affect critically ill people but elderly people with complex illnesses who relapse and may be required to travel to Lincoln for assessment, even if they are subsequently moved back to Grantham.
“Depending on the outcome we could end up with an A&E by name only. We must continue to campaign and keep the pressure up. It is concerning admissions criteria for the re-opening are being discussed at all given rising local need and historic demand. 4400 A&E ambulances alone used Grantham last year. There are many potential options and potential ramifications that may not only affect our A&E but viability of other services at Grantham Hospital.”