‘Very real and serious’ fears for the future of Grantham Hospital

Scene Setters : Grantham Hospital.

Scene Setters : Grantham Hospital.

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Staff at Grantham Hospital have reached out to a former Mayor of Grantham over fears for the future of Grantham Hospital’s A&E department.

District and county councillor Ray Wootten says hospital staff believe accident and emergency services are set to be downgraded as part of a “Sustainable Review” being carried out at hospitals throughout the country.

Coun Wootten, who is also chairman of Lincolnshire County Council, believes the accident and emergency unit could be closed at night or turned into a GP unit as the unit “will not be deemed safe” under new criteria.

Coun Wootten said: “Closing the A&E at night would not only put patients at risk but affect Grantham’s ability to train new doctors.

“This threat is very real and serious according to staff sources who have contacted me, with critical care cover and night cover dangerously low.

“With the population in Grantham predicated to rise to 60,000 by the year 2020 a sustainable and secure hospital is vital for our town.”

MP for Grantham Nick Boles took to Twitter to voice his opposition to any downgrading at Grantham Hospital.

Mr Boles said: “Very troubled by rumours about Grantham A&E. ULHT managers need to know this: I will fight any downgrade to this vital high quality service”

Coun Wootten says he will be seeking answers from Alan Kitt, chief officer for South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

He said: “I shall be raising these concerns with Alan Kitt chief officer for South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and to board members at the next board meeting. I expect honest answers to these concerns as we all value our local hospital.

“If the Trust believes that they are going to downgrade out hospital without a fight, they can think again.”

A spokesman for ULH NHS Trust said: “We are confident that Grantham hospital will continue to be at the centre of our local response to those who need urgent care.

“Grantham Hospital plays a vital role in the delivery of healthcare locally which was demonstrated as part of the Shaping Health for Mid-Kesteven programme. The outcome of the Shaping Health public consultation was very positive and puts Grantham Hospital in a strong position moving forward.

“Recommendations from shaping Health are being implemented.”

 

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Coun Wootten’s letter in full:

Once again, despite assurances by senior hospital staff the future of Grantham A&E Unit is in doubt.

Over the past week I have received information that the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust are carrying out an urgent Sustainable Review with plans to downgrade the Accident & Emergency Department.

The Critical Care Unit which supports A&E will not be deemed safe according to new standards coming into force for higher level hospitals such as Leicester in 2014 and it has been suggested that the A&E be closed at night or converted to a GP Unit.

Closing the A&E at night would not only put patients at risk but affect Grantham’s ability to train new doctors.

This threat is very real and serious according to staff sources who have contacted me, with critical care cover and night cover dangerously low.

With the population in Grantham predicated to rise to 60,000 by the year 2020 a sustainable and secure hospital is vital for our town.

I shall be raising these concerns with Alan Kitt Chief chief officer for South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and to board members at the next board meeting, I expect honest answers to these concerns, we all value our local hospital.

If the Trust believes that they are going to downgrade out hospital without a fight, they can think again.

Coun Ray Wootten

Grantham North

 

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United Lincolnshire Hospitals’ response in full:

 

From April this year nationally and locally across Health and social care, major change has taken place, and these changes will continue over the next few years.

As part of these changes Lincolnshire has embarked on a county wide review covering the whole of health and social care called the Lincolnshire Sustainable Services Review (LSSR). A range of services are part of the review including urgent care, planned care, early intervention and long term care.

We know that there needs to be a really significant change in the balance between what we do in the county and how we support people at home and what we do currently in hospital. However, we are confident that Grantham hospital will continue to be at the centre of our local response to those who need urgent care.

Grantham Hospital plays a vital role in the delivery of healthcare locally which was demonstrated as part of the Shaping Health for Mid-Kesteven programme. The outcome of the Shaping Health public consultation was very positive and puts Grantham Hospital in a strong position moving forward. Recommendations from Shaping Health are being implemented.”

Programme Director, Annette Laban said: “Quality and safety are at the heart of what we want for our population and integration of services is key to achieving this - we need to work together better across and within organisations. We also need to make better use of the money we have for now and the future along with making better us of our entire workforce.

For many this is not the first review of health services we have encountered.

However, we really need to make this one count and are being supported to do this by all organisations concerned across the health and care community.”

The programme is still at a very early stage and no one knows as yet what the end product will be, however we know there will be some changes.”

The ideas from this review will be taken forward in order to ensure Lincolnshire Health and Social Care system is of high quality, safe and sustainable, affordable and fit for the future.”