Hospital vigil goes on
A concert will be held to raise funds for a group of hospital campaigners who have been hosting weekly vigils outside Grantham hospital for nearly two years.
Since A&E closed overnight in August 2016, the determined campaigners have stood outside the hospital entrance every Wednesday to hold vigils.
Inspired by their efforts, popular Grantham vocalist Terry Carey and local 1960s and 1970s band Premier Cru have organised a concert to show their solidarity with the campaigners and raise funds for the campaign as well as Breast Cancer Care.
They will appear together at The Meres next month, along with live performances from the renowned Nero String Octet and the Inner Wheel Choir from District 7.
Premier Cru band member Barry Phillips lives opposite the hospital.
He said: “I see them out every week come wind, rain, snow or shine. They are always there. Nothing deters them.”
“Every single one of them is a fantastic individual and I admire their tenacity. They deserve all the support that the town can give.”
Bruce Wells can often be found at the vigil after he finishes his shift at work.
He said: “I am just here to do my bit to save our A&E. There is a great community of people here from all different walks of life. We have a couple, Neville and Sharon Swain, who have only ever missed four vigils since August 2016. Paula Czarnecki, who lives nearby, often brings up homemade soup and cakes to see us through.”
Bernice Cullimore, has been another regular face at the weekly vigils.
She said: “People will die if they don’t reopen A&E. It is as simple as that. I don’t think people will realise the impact of losing our A&E until it is too late. This is just my way of doing my bit to support the campaign to get it reopened. The concert is a fabulous idea.”
Liz Wilson often posts about the vigil on social media to try and keep the ongoing campaign in the public eye.
She said: “We do need more people to join us but not everyone can do everything, so this is my way of showing my commitment to the cause. I will carry on until the day I die.”
Sue Rowsell would like to see more members of the public joining them at the vigil.
She said: “There is normally about 20 or 30 people who regularly turn up most weeks but that is not a lot when you think about the entire population of Grantham. There is still a lot of support from people driving by who toot their horns, but it would be great if more just stopped and joined us, even if it is for five minutes.”
Councillor’s Ray and Linda Wootten were keen to show their support to the campaigners at the vigil.
Linda said: “We greatly admire the hardy souls who turn up every Wednesday regardless of the weather and throughout the winter.
“Although it is coming up to two years since the closure of A&E overnight, the
support in town remains rock solid.”
Rock ‘n’ Roll Meets The Classics, which has been two years in the making, will feature something to entertain everyone by combining the very best of memorable 60’s and 70’s music with instantly recognisable works from the classical composers.
To purchase tickets, visit www.mereslive.com or call 01476 406158.
Meanwhile United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust has presented its vision for orthopaedic services on Monday at the ULHT Members Forum at Sleaford Rugby Club.
Chief Executive Jan Sobieraj said: “I presented at our members meeting this week on our emerging vision for the future of trauma and orthopaedic services within Lincolnshire hospitals.
“We are working as part of the national Get It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme and are looking at reorganising all trauma and orthopaedics to streamline services on all of our sites, stop unnecessary cancellations, improve quality of care and meet the highest national standards.
“As part of this we believe that Grantham could play a significant role and it may be possible that more surgery is carried out at the site in future.
“We are now developing these proposals and engaging with the public and our staff on our ideas. It is early days, as any changes would require clinical consensus and access to capital funding.”