This week, thanks to Conservative councillor Ray Wootten, we have learned of another possible threat to the services being offered at Grantham Hospital.
I have always recognised that changes in technology, treatment methods and safety standards, as well as the growing demands of an ageing population, mean that local health services must adapt.
So when the local GPs, who commission services for us, set out their plans for Grantham Hospital, I supported their proposals, including those that were controversial, because I believed that they struck the right balance between preserving what works and changing to meet future needs.
One of the proposals was this: “Create a 24 hour A&E Care Centre bringing together the best of A&E consultants and Out of Hours doctors, supported by mental health, social care and end of life care teams. This will mean that patients are treated more quickly and efficiently by the most appropriate health professional.”
I would like to use the pages of the Grantham Journal to send a very clear message to the leadership of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust – and I hope the local GPs who commission services for us will privately be doing the same.
My patience, and the patience of the people of Grantham, is wearing thin.
My support for the plans set out earlier this year is conditional on the implementation of all the proposals, including the proposal for A&E at Grantham Hospital.
The Care Quality Commission has recently reminded us that the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust faces significant challenges.
I suggest that the Trust’s managers and clinical leaders spend rather more of their time sorting out the problems in its hospitals in Lincoln and Boston – and stop undermining the hospital in Grantham, which is the only one in the Trust that seems to be doing a good job.
Read about Councillor Wootten’s concerns here