At a meeting of the board of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, members were asked if Grantham “was being taken for a ride”.
The question was put to the board by Grantham district councillor and chairman of Lincolnshire County Council Ray Wootten in light of the closure of the maternity unit at Grantham, a deficit at the Trust of £26million and issues over recruitment of nurses and car parking.
Coun Wootten said: “People love our hospital, they love the care here and they love the layout, but the board is not put in a good light at all.”
In reply, Deputy Chief Executive Kevin Turner said Grantham Hospital was “part of the solution”. He said the Trust was being paid less to provide more, but Grantham would play an increasing role in providing health services for the area.
He said the link with St Barnabas Hospice to run a hospice within a hospital at Grantham and moves to provide a day surgery facility, possibly in the former maternity unit, were evidence of that. He said: “We see a strong future for Grantham.”
Among other issues highlighted at the meeting was car parking. The trust hopes to start a pilot scheme aimed at making it easier for visitors to park at the hospitals where the car parks are often full.
Paul Boocock, Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “We are looking at varying visiting times at the sites and that should help to reduce some of the peak demand which occurs at 2pm when shifts change. There is an issue around car parking but we are looking at a number of initiatives to put into place.”