Grantham MP says the reopening of town’s A&E is his top priority

Grantham A&E protest organiser Sarah Stock talks to MP Nick Boles at the House of Commons.
Grantham A&E protest organiser Sarah Stock talks to MP Nick Boles at the House of Commons.
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Grantham MP Nick Boles says he is working hard behind the scenes to try and get A&E services at Grantham fully restored.

Mr Boles met a group of protesters on Monday who travelled by coach to London and met up with other protesters from around the country where other A&E departments also face an uncertain future.

Mr Boles described the talks with the Grantham group in the House of Commons as “very useful”.

After his meeting with the group, he told the Journal: “We have to keep the momentum of the campaign going. This is not about me waving a placard and jumping up and down. That is not going to be enough. I will not make much impact on my own. We have 28,000 signatures on the petitions and we have had 3,000 people marching through Grantham. That is where things make a difference. We have to keep plugging away.”

On Tuesday in the House of Commons, Mr Boles asked the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, to meet him and Jody Clark, of Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital, to discuss Grantham A&E to which he agreed.

Mr Boles also recently posted a list of actions on Facebook which he has taken with regard to the situation in Grantham. These included taking part in the march through Grantham on September 3, demanding a weekly progress report from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust on the recruitment of doctors, and discussing staffing problems with the medical director Dr Suneil Kapadia.

Mr Boles said: “I want A&E to open as soon as possible and I will leave no stone unturned until that happens.

“The trust has told me they are making progress. They have developed the idea of comnining a research posts which is attrative to doctors who want to do research as well. I am encouraged in a sense but very far from being certain that there is a guarantee it will open fully in Novemberand we will not know until early November.”

Grantham A&E was closed overnight for three months on August 17, but there has been no guarantee from ULHT that it will reopen fully on November 17,

Mr Boles said it would be “hugely concerning” if ULHT can’t reopen A&E 24 hours a day in November.

He added: “It’s important to keep a steady drum beat going so they know we are not going away. I can promise I will be doing something every single week on this. It is my number priority.”

l London protest, story and pictures on page 12.