Fresh calls for a new hospital to be built on barracks site in Grantham
There have been fresh calls for a new hospital to be built on the barracks site on Somerby Hill in Grantham.
When plans for a garden village on the site were first revealed in 2016, it was suggested that the area would be an ideal location for a brand new hospital. This was even supported by NHS chief executive Simon Stevens at the time. But campaigners are disappointed that any plans for a hospital have not been entertained.
When the barracks plans were made public, Jody Clark, of Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital, said she believed a brand new building to replace the old Grantham Hospital would be a boon to the town, reducing running costs and pollution, improving access and services and incentivising people to come and work in the area. This was particularly true, she said, given the large-scale developments being built in the town.
This week Ms Clark said: “When the formal public consultation [on the future of healthcare in Lincolnshire by the clinical commissioning group] finally comes to the public, it’s a shame it won’t include the full A&E we have all been asking for. I honestly think our only way of regaining that is for us to have a larger, new build hospital.
“I don’t mind where but either side of Somerby Hill would be ideal, with both sides being developed in the near future, it could easily be incorporated. I hope the recent census shows Lincolnshire has a higher population than they thought and they realise two A&Es are not enough.”
The calls for the brand new facility come after a preliminary plan for 4,000 homes on the barracks site was submitted to South Kesteven District Council. The site is due to be vacated by the military by 2024.
Ms Clark’s call was supported by Grantham councillor Ray Wootten.
Coun Wootten said: “Grantham continues to grow with a larger population and more houses, which in itself brings more traffic and the need for more hospital services including doctors surgeries. Currently, the demand is there for emergency treatment. The urgent treatment centre, currently in use 24/7, although not a replacement for an A&E, has been praised by many of those who have used it but we need more and a new purpose-built hospital would benefit Grantham and surrounding district.
“Grantham is on a key cross country link to the rest of the country with rail and motorway links. Our hospital should be expanding its services and looking to the future, after all the NHS does belong to us all.”
When the idea of a new hospital in Grantham was muted, Mr Stevens said: “It’s a very worthwhile idea that has merits. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been to Grantham but I have visited and been to the A&E department and spoken to staff and patients so,I know it’s a much-loved and highly valued resource for not just Grantham.”