WITH regard to the letters in the Journal concerning the “backdoor” downgrading of Grantham Hospital A&E, I feel my 98-year-old, very confused father has been used as a “pawn” in the numbers game being played by the Health Authority.
He is living in a care home in Grantham and had a problem with his catheter late afternoon last Saturday. The 111 service was telephoned but no emergency doctor was available so an ambulance was sent to take him to Lincoln County Hospital A&E. When I asked why he was not being taken to A&E at Grantham hospital I was told that he might need a urology consultant and Grantham did not have one at the weekend!
We arrived at the hospital just after 6pm; he was treated and sent back to his care home by a private ambulance arriving at 11pm. I had no complaints about his treatment as all the staff were very kind to him as he was dreadfully confused and did not understand where he was or why.
I asked if his problem could have been dealt with at Grantham Hospital and was told that he should have gone there to be treated and if he had needed the services of a consultant he would have been transferred to Lincoln, which as it turned out he didn’t.
In my opinion, for what it’s worth, he became a statistic in the number of people using Lincoln A&E, therefore quite falsely reducing the number of people using Grantham A&E. This will then give the Health Authority the ammunition it needs to close Grantham A&E, which I am sure they have been trying to do for several years.
The whole experience also seemed such a waste of money and resources, so it is no wonder the NHS has problems, as I am sure this was not an isolated case. Just think of the unnecessary time wasted by the ambulance crew!
Another problem this could have created would be at the care home. If a member of their staff had had to have gone to Lincoln Hospital with him instead of me, the home would then have been short of carers and this would have been extremely difficult for them.
Lastly, I must thank the staff on the EAU and Ward 6 for the care they gave my father when he was with them for nine days a few weeks ago.