Grantham Journal letter: Growing town needs A&E service

Grantham district and county councillor Ray Wootten, right, meets the chairman of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Dean Fathers. EMN-160520-160409001
Grantham district and county councillor Ray Wootten, right, meets the chairman of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Dean Fathers. EMN-160520-160409001

My wife Linda and I have always been supporters of the National Health Service.

Having moved from Leighton Buzzard 12 years ago from a town of similar size which had no hospital we appreciate how vital it is to have Grantham Hospital on our doorstep.

At last week’s County and District Council I was pleased to table a motion for a debate calling on the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust to reinstate the A&E 24/7 at Grantham Hospital as soon as possible.

I saw my motion as a Cross Party Issue where I was looking for full support in each chamber and was pleased to receive it.

For me this sends a clear message to the Trust Board that elected members from across Lincolnshire are behind the campaign.

I wish to thank all my colleagues for their support on this important matter.

Councillor Steve Palmer a member from Sutton on Sea offered his support to attend the next rally in Grantham which is at 11am on Saturday October 29th.

Bearing in mind that Steve lives 57 miles away it demonstrates how much support there is for Grantham Hospital and this campaign.

The rally on the 3rd September was attended by both leaders of the County and District Council, Councillor Martin Hill and Councillor Bob Adams and the local MP Nick Boles.

During my speech last week I praised Jody Clark, the organiser of Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital, and Cllr Charmaine Morgan, of SOS Grantham Hospital, and members of the public who attended the rally in the pouring rain.

To demonstrate that this was a cross party matter Cllr Adam Stokes who was due to second my motion moved aside for Cllr Morgan to second it.

It is my view that when the Trust publishes its Sustainability & Transformation Plan there will be changes to the way health care is provided in Lincolnshire.

For example the deficit needs to come down in order for Lincolnshire to share in the governments front loaded £8.4 billion boost to the health service.

Recently staff reported that only 60 per cent of patients were seen at Lincoln A&E within the four hours waiting time which is unacceptable especially as winter approaches.

Ambulances are travelling extra distances which put people with respiratory diseases at a greater risk.

I welcome the introduction of the new evening out of hour’s service for minor injuries but this is no substitute for A&E services that last year saw nearly 30,000 patients and of those 5000 were admitted.

With a growing population we need a hospital service with an A&E, not a glorified minor injuries unit.

Cllr Ray Wootten

Grantham North