United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) has today (Friday) announced it has been awarded nearly £1 million to relieve pressure on hospital emergency departments ahead of next winter.
But none of that cash will be coming to the emergency department in Grantham – the second largest settlement in Lincolnshire.
Instead, it will be used to set up GP streaming services in front of the A&E departments at Lincoln County Hospital and Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, to free up the A&E departments to deal with emergencies more quickly and effectively.
A spokesman for ULHT told the Journal that none of the money awarded will not be spent in Grantham because the hospital already has some ‘primary care input’, while the departments at Lincoln and Boston do not.
Grantham’s A&E department has been the victim of overnight closures since August 17 last year, after ULHT took the decision to relocate staff to A&Es in Lincoln and Boston for reasons of “patient safety across the county”.
Grantham’s A&E is closed between 9am and 6.30pm daily.
The £1 million investment has been announced by the Department of Health this week as part of a £100 million fund being allocated to hospitals across the country to relieve pressure on A&E departments and improve A&E waiting times.
ULHT chief operating officer Mark Brassington said: “We are delighted that Lincolnshire’s bid for this funding has been successful.
“This will allow us to create a new streaming service at our two busiest A&E departments, which should really help to relieve pressure on those departments.
“With these new services, we will be able to direct patients when they arrive in A&E, with a clinician assessing their needs and deciding where they can receive the most appropriate care.
“We hope that this development will help us to see and treat patients more quickly and ensure that everyone is getting the right level of care that they require.”
Work will start on developing the new facilities in the coming weeks.