It is now over 13 months since the A&E at Grantham Hospital was forced to close overnight.
During that period, various groups have been formed to fight for the re-instatement of a 24-hour A&E and for the protection of Grantham Hospital as a whole. Residents here have seen the facilities at the hospital downgraded piece by piece, year by year, and they are not happy. In fact, they are furious.
Grantham is a growing town and there are plans to increase its size quite considerably with new housing estates being built and a garden town extension in the pipeline.
It needs its own fully functioning hospital with a 24-hour accident and emergency unit.
Lincoln hospital cannot cope now and it is too far away to be used in an emergency. Anyone who lives in this area knows that to travel from Grantham to Lincoln hospital takes well over an hour, even when there is little traffic and that is assuming that you have transport.
There are many folks in this town who do not have their own transport and, if they need the hospital overnight, would have to rely on the ambulance service as there are no buses after 7.40pm.
Week after week in the Journal we see stories of people who have had to wait for hours for an ambulance to arrive to transport them to hospital and when they finally arrive there they have to wait for several more hours until their needs are met. This is not good enough.
On Saturday, October 14 there will be another march through Grantham from St Peter’s Hill to the sensory garden in Wyndham Park, to demonstrate that Grantham will not rest until the A&E is re-opened as a 24-hour service.
This is not a last attempt. There will NEVER be a last attempt unless it is the one that works and ULHT reopens the A&E properly.
I hope all the groups who are working towards the goal of improving our hospital facilities will work together for this march and get out there and make a noise. Wear red so you are visible, sing, whistle, bang your drums, bring your banners, but come along and make this the biggest demonstration Grantham has ever seen.
We need our accident and emergency service 24 hours a day.