Torrential rain and wind didn’t stop dedicated hospital campaigners from staging an overnight vigil, to mark one year since Grantham Hospital’s A&E unit closed overnight.
Members from the all three hospital campaign groups turned out in force on Wednesday evening with blankets, food, dressing gowns and umbrellas to see them through until the morning.
Sarah Stock, from Fighting for Life Lincolnshire, led the overnight vigil. She said: “We had a good range of ages turn out in support. We wanted to be there from 6.30pm to 8am to highlight the exact length of time that A&E is closed for. It was an incredibly long time to be sitting there for and it was difficult to imagine just how scary it would be to have to wait for an ambulance in the cold and dark and with winter coming soon, it is just going to get harder.”
As the night went on, as well as reading poetry, singing songs and telling funny stories, the campaigners shared poignant memories about their battle over the last year.
Sarah added: “We never thought that we would still be here one year on and we shouldn’t be. Accidents can happen 24 hours a day, seven days a week and I feel that we are being fobbed off with a part-time service.”
Spirits were high throughout the night and although numbers dwindled towards the end, eight hardy souls stayed put until 8am yesterday morning (Thursday)
Sarah Stock added: “It rained most of the night, but spirits remained high. Original SOS Grantham campaigners, Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital campaigners, Fighting 4 Life Lincolnshire campaigners and new campaigners joined in solidarity throughout the night for the common cause to reinstate our A&E to its previous level 1 A&E status, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was an awesome community effort, fighting in any and every way we can to maintain awareness and keep the pressure on. Well done everyone.”