Grantham campaigners say unit to close in August
Hospital campaigners say the orthopaedic trauma unit at Grantham Hospital is to close in August.
However, both the trust that runs the hospital and the clinical commissioning group that plans its services, say there are ‘currently’ no plans to shut the unit.
Now, South Kesteven District Council has pledged to fight any downgrading of services at Grantham Hospital, with chief executive Aidan Rave quizzing the trust and CCG about them.
Hospital campaigner Melissa Darcey told the Journal this week that hospital staff keep telling her that meetings about closing orthapaedics are happening.
“They say it’s happening in August and there will be an announcement in May. There will be no consultation. They are trying to keep everyone at bay whilst they change things internally.
“They are just working on smoke and morrors, delaying tactics. Staff are distraught. They feel they are powerless. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Ms Darcey added that at campaign stalls in Grantham, more than 800 people have signed a petition expressing no confidence in the ULHT board.
SKDC Chief Executive Aidan Rave recently wrote to both the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and the South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group seeking confirmation about hospital services.
He asked them :“If the rumours are indeed substantiated then can I assume that members of this council and the wider public will be fully consulted on the closure well in advance of any final decision being made, as well as being consulted on the future of Grantham Hospital?”
John Turner, chief officer of the South and South West Lincolnshire CCG, replied: “No such change is currently being proposed in relation to Orthopaedic Trauma Services at Grantham.”
He added: “I can confirm that the CCG would regard South Kesteven District Council as a key consultee in the event of such a consultation exercise.”
Mr Turner has accepted an invitation to speak to a future meeting of SKDC’s communities and well-being committee. Committee chairman Coun Ray Wootten said he is delighted SKDC is keeping up the pressure concerning Grantham Hospital.
He said: “It is imperative that we continue to campaign for the hospital on behalf of the public. ULHT’s plan for Grantham Hospital needs to be published and a clear and transparent consultation needs to be carried out as soon as possible.”
Coun Wootton attended last Friday’s meeting of ULHT, where the board said it had no intention of removing orthopaedic trauma services from Grantham Hospital.
Coun Wootten also quizzed ULHT chief executive Jan Soberiaj about the future of the hospital and asked for inquiries to be made to establish what is happening with the future of the orthopaedic unit.
He also proposed a motion which was supported, calling for a task and finish group to be set up to scrutinise the finances of ULHT.
A ULHT spokesperson said after last Friday’s ULHT meeting:”Our position on both A&E and trauma and orthopaedics remains the same. Nothing additional has been said or agreed at Board today.”