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Maternity closure: What do local authorities say?

The Journal has approached various local authorities this week to find out their stance on the plans to close Grantham’s maternity unit.

Here’s what they had to say:

Lincolnshire County Council

Councillor Sue Woolley, Executive Member for Health, Housing and Community, said: “We’re delighted that NHS Lincolnshire is planning to maintain and improve the accident and emergency services in Grantham.

There is a real need for the department, as shown by the 35,000 patients who use it every year.

“Given the low number of births in Grantham, we understand why NHS Lincolnshire has suggested relocating the midwifery unit. However, it is only fair local people are allowed their say on the proposals, and it’s also important that the NHS bear in mind the future needs of the community when making a final decision.

“It will be interesting to see what response there is to the plans during the consultation.”

South Kesteven District Council

Council leader Linda Neal said: “We are watching the consultation regarding provision of services at Grantham Hospital very carefully and as always we want the best outcome for both the town and its residents.

“With the Growth Point projects that are scheduled over the next 20 years we will be trying hard to make sure that local people have the services they need and value.

“If you would like to have your say you can do so on our website at www.southkesteven.gov.uk/shapinghealth where we have posted a link to the consultation documents.”

NHS Lincolnshire

Chair of the South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Richard Gent said: “This is an exciting opportunity to make sure that services at this well-loved local hospital and surrounding area have a bright and strong future.

“As part of this consultation we are not only consulting on two proposals to change children’s and midwifery services, but we are also setting out a number of improvements we are making which Grantham Hospital will benefit and thrive from.”

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

A spokesman said: “United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been working closely with NHS Lincolnshire as part of the Shaping Health for Mid Kesteven programme board to help develop the proposals for services at Grantham Hospital.

“The maternity unit at Grantham delivers an excellent service to the women who use it, and we are delighted that there will be no changes to the post natal, antenatal and home birth services.

“However, we recognise that changes need to be made to ensure the services provided from the hospital are right for whole of the local population in the future and this includes birthing options for women. Statistics show that women are not choosing to use the midwifery-led unit and alternatives need to be discussed throughout the public consultation to provide women with the options that meet their needs.

“This may include increased home birthing or increased capacity for referrals to a midwifery-led unit alongside an existing obstetric unit.

“We know that Grantham Hospital is highly regarded by local people, which is a tribute to the staff working there.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK? E-MAIL US AT: COMMENT@GRANTHAMJOURNAL.CO.UK

 

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