Protesters say closure of Grantham Hospital A&E is ‘unlawful’ and they will fight it in the courts

Coun Ray Wootten, right, protested at a rally outside Grantham Hospital, over the reduction in A&E cover in Grantham.

Coun Ray Wootten, right, protested at a rally outside Grantham Hospital, over the reduction in A&E cover in Grantham.

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A group of protesters are raising money to fight the closure of Grantham Hospital A&E which they say is unlawful.

SOS Grantham Hospital says it has consulted solicitors and as a result it wants to raise the money to fight the closure.

Coun Charmaine Morgan, chairman of SOS Grantham Hospital, said the group has been in contact with public law specialist solicitors Leigh Day who have looked at the situation with two barristers, David Lock QC and Leon Glenister, who are at Landmark Chambers.

Coun Morgan said: “They believe we not only have a strong case against ULHT for the way they have handled the closure of Grantham Hospital A&E at night but that it is vital we fight this case for other A&E units across the country. The NHS is very poor at being accountable to those of us who pay for its service. The only opportunity we have to have a say is through public consultation and the way the trust has acted has denied us, and other important consultees, a voice.

“If ULHT get away with this unchallenged it will pave the way for other Hospital Trusts to do the same. We propose to seek a Judicial Review and I am working on our case documentation now.”

The protesters say their objectives are to seek a ULHT public consultation over the closure and the re-opening of Grantham A&E at night until the end of the consultation. This will start with a letter being sent to ULHT advising them that Judicial Review proceedings will start.

Coun Morgan said that in order to protect the protest group from potentially high costs it will first need to seek a Protected Cost Order.

Coun Morgan said: “We need to commit to raising the money toward the overall cost. At our vigil support was given to campaigners undertaking fundraising activity to support a Judicial Review.”

Coun Morgan would like to hear from anybody who can make a contribution to the fund-raising or wants to put on a fund-raising event. A crowdfunding account and dedicated bank account are being set up.

Coun Morgan said: “There is a risk relating to the fund-raising and court cases. We need to go ahead immediately to meet tight procedural time frames. But if we don’t raise enough money through our community efforts once we are committed to act, the bill will still need to be paid. Can you help underwrite the costs? Please contact me if so. I will be seeking the support of individuals and organisations that may be able to help with this.

“We need to get those petition signatures rolling in. They will help prove our case for the Protected Cost Order demonstrating how our community feels.”

To sign the petition go to www.tinyurl.com/savegranthama-e

If you want to help the legal fight call Coun Morgan on 01476 574748 or 07429 334260.

ULHT says that it has hgad no other option but to close Grantham A&E at night in order to boost staffing levels at its other sites in Boston and Lincoln where staffing levels have reached “crisis point”.