Grantham Journal letter: Always here to raise concerns

Grantham Hospital. EMN-151130-113942001

Grantham Hospital. EMN-151130-113942001

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I wish to comment on the letter from Jane Bennett, who attended the recent ULHT board meeting at Grantham Hospital.

Jane’s first point regarding the agenda being published one day before the meeting is valid and one that I have raised with the chairman on previous occasions. I have, sitting on my desk, the Peterborough Hospital governors’ agenda for a meeting on the 12th January, 2016, which was published before Christmas; I cannot see why the ULHT agendas are not published at least five working days in advance.

The trust agendas are usually an inch thick with comprehensive statistics contained within and require detailed examination in order to ask questions.

The reason that Jane could not speak is that public questions come after the chairman and chief executive’s announcements, which were items 4 & 5 on the agenda and Jane was late arriving. Jane does not have to be on the agenda to ask a question. It is what it is, a chance for the public to ask questions on agenda items. On this occasion I had asked several challenging questions regarding the Critical Care Unit; the future of the old hospital; its winter plans and the trust deficit.

Questions from the public used to be at the end of the agenda which meant that decisions had been made without hearing the views from the public.

I am grateful to the previous chairman Paul Richardson for changing this to the beginning of meetings.

I did explain to Jane the procedure for asking questions but she appeared distressed.

Her comment that I am in agreement with the trust actions is completely untrue and had she been on time she would have heard what I had to say to the board.

As a councillor you come to expect criticism, especially from political opponents and armchair critics. However, I will continue to do all I can at every opportunity to bring to the hospital trust’s attention the concerns of residents whom I represent and to hold the board to account.

With regards to Mr Cook’s complaint in last week’s Journal, I raised this with the chairman immediately and I’m pleased to hear that Mr Cook has now received an appointment with the cardiologist at Grantham Hospital.

Coun Ray Wootten