Motion on downgrade of Grantham A&E wins cross-party support but three abstain

South Kesteven councillors gather before the meeting of the district council demanding the return of full A&E services at Grantham Hospital.
South Kesteven councillors gather before the meeting of the district council demanding the return of full A&E services at Grantham Hospital.
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A motion put before South Kesteven District Council yesterday saying that a downgrade of Grantham A&E was unacceptable was supported by 24 councillors while three abstained.

The motion was put before the meeting of South Kesteven District Council yesterday by Coun Ray Wootten who said he was disappointed with the number of councillors taking part in the vote. The motion was heard at the end of the meeting.

But Coun Wootten did say he was glad of cross-party support for the motion after it was seconded by Labour group leader Coun Charmaine Morgan.

Coun Wootten told the meeting: “I am disappointed there are only 26 members left in this chamber to hear my motion. I have been a supporter of the NHS all my life and pay tribute to those doctors, nurses and ancillary staff who have worked hard each day for our residents. The message is clear, the public does not want any changes to the services provided at Grantham Hospital and wants the resoration of Grantham A&E 24/7.”

Coun Morgan said the further centralisation of key services will mean patients travelling further, taking longer to get access to care with the acutely ill put at more risk and there being more pressure on EMAS.

Coun Morgan said the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) should provide an opportunity to revist A&E services everywhere. She said at least three A&E units are needed if not four given the size of the county.

Grantham A&E department has been closed overnight since August. A meeting of the board of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is due to review the situation at its meeting in early February.

Coun Wootten’s motion said:

In response to the recently released NHS document the Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) the Council is asked to support the following motion.

1. That this Council welcomes some of the positive proposals for future healthcare contained in the STP such as the development of Neighbourhood Teams and measures to improve preventative healthcare.

However, we believe that the proposal for the downgrading of the A&E service provision at Grantham Hospital and, the proposal for the creation of a single maternity unit for the whole county at Lincoln County Hospital, is completely unacceptable and will have a serious and detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of the local residents within the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust catchment area of South Kesteven.

2. That this Council believes that the views of the residents of South Kesteven District Council are of paramount importance in deciding the future direction of healthcare provision in Lincolnshire and, calls on all the NHS organisations within the South Kesteven catchment area to conduct a full and meaningful public consultation on the STP proposals by actively engaging with all South Kesteven residents.

This Council therefore:

1. Cannot support the Lincolnshire STP in its current form.

2. Confirms that we are prepared to work with all local NHS organisations to encourage them to adhere to and act upon the views which emerge from the public consultation.