The third protest march through Grantham is just over a week away – and campaigners are urging you to be there.
Organised by Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital (F4GH), the march will travel through the town centre on Saturday, February 25, leaving St Peter’s Hill at around 11am.
It is against the ongoing overnight closure of the town’s A&E department, a move brought in back in August last year by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) to relocate medical staff to under-staffed Boston Pilgrim and Lincoln County hospitals.
After what should have been a three-month closure has twice been extended by the trust, F4GH members fear the people of Grantham are losing hope that the A&E will ever re-open 24 hours a day.
Campaigner Pip Dowse said: “We are hoping to exceed numbers [of the previous two protest marches] but fear that people are losing heart.
“I guess the main thing we want them to know is we are making progress. The possible extra hour is an insult but it is progress and ULHT board members know we are not backing down.
“People power is real. It can and does work. We just hope the people who are affected by the cuts forced on us can see that and will stand side by side with us to show that we are not going away.”
Road closures are in place allowing the march to travel from St Peter’s Hill along High Street, Watergate, Brook Street and Manthorpe Road to the entrance of Grantham Hospital.
Here, speakers will have their say – they are Ben Bradley on behalf of Grantham MP Nick Boles, Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Caroline Johnson, Councillor Ray Wootten, Mayor of Grantham Linda Wootten, Coun Mark Whittington and former Grantham A&E nurse manager Paul Lewis.
F4GH’s Jody Clark said: “Speeches will be brief and we hope everyone comes and supports the march, telling ULHT ‘Give us back our A&E’.”
Sound equipment will be provided by Simmonds Music.
Protesters are asked by organisers not to take along political banners or placards.