Maternity Unit Closure: ‘Consultation deliberately misled people’

Grantham Hospital's maternity unit is to close.

Grantham Hospital's maternity unit is to close.

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SOS Grantham Hospital’s Charmaine Morgan has accused health chiefs behind the closure of Grantham Hospital’s maternity unit of “deliberately misleading consultees to get the desired result”.

Coun Morgan also said she felt “sickened” and “betrayed” by the decision.

In a letter to the Journal this morning, Coun Morgan writes:

The news re Grantham Hospital Maternity Unit closure and A&E changes is staggering and flies in the face of evidence and logic.

I am personally sickened at the news those entrusted to run our hospital service would chose an option that will cost lives.

The CCG have not listened to the views of local people and those local people who are meant to represent us on Shaping Health have betrayed their local community in supporting the proposals.

In short more babies and their mothers lives will be put at risk as a result of this decision, along with the people already having to travel across the county for emergency care.

Tragically SOS Grantham Hospital members are aware of at least three deaths as a result of the existing arrangements:-

In one instance a mother was forced to travel to Lincoln despite the baby being in late stages of delivery. The baby suffered trauma as a result and died.

In the second instance a lady in her early thirties requiring medical treatment was partially treated at Grantham Hospital and with drips in her arm forced to drive to Lincoln having been told no ambulance was available to take her. She got septicemia as a result and died a few days later.

This decision can only increase risk to local people and in our view the trust are failing to deliver services equally across their area which it is their duty to do.

SOS Grantham Hospital are submitting a report to the Hospital Inspectors based on the feedback we had from the public during our petition and in view of the above average level of deaths in our local hospitals.

This decision is only further evidence that SW Lincs CCG is failing to properly manage our vital hospital services.

SOS Grantham Hospital are also questioning the validity of the SW Lincs CCG/Shaping Health Consultation given:-

- it failed to state specifically the Maternity Unit would be closed.

- it was sent out to Sleaford residents who do not use Grantham Hospital and therefore would skew the results

- it contained inaccurate information regarding concerns over the skills of the midwives at Grantham Hospital which was disputed by the midwives. The CHC stated midwives at Grantham Hospital would not have adequate experience to keep up skills when in fact they were used to support Boston and Lincolnshire Hospitals - which in fact was a recommendation made by SOS Grantham Hospital members as well. SW Lincs CHC advised they would retract the content publicly but failed to do so during the consultation process.

- it is not clear how it used the feedback from over 8,000 local residents who opposed cuts.

- it stated that mothers choose not to go to Grantham Hospital and were choosing to go to Lincoln or Boston Hospitals when Alan Kitt advised me there had been no survey completed to identify what mothers views actually were, and, the mothers and grandmothers we spoke to during the petition period stated they had either been denied access to Grantham Hospital or had not been offered the service.

All stated they would have preferred to have their babies locally, and wanted to see a restoration of Consultant led services at the unit.

It appears that the CCG either does not know how Grantham Hospital operates or deliberately misled consultees in order to get a desired result.