Grantham Hospital campaigners hold discussions with new chief of hospital's trust
Two hospital campaigners met with the new chief of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) this week to discuss the future of Grantham Hospital.
Independent councillor Ian Selby and hospital campaigner Liz Wilson met with Andrew Morgan who took over the reigns at ULHT In July, at Lincoln County Hospital on Monday to discuss the overnight closure of Grantham’s A&E department and future services.
Councillor Selby said: “The situation at Grantham Hospital is my number one priority. The continued overnight closure of A&E seems another stage in the plan to run down the hospital which has lost a vast range of services over the last 20 years.
“We in Grantham feel that we are treated as having less worth than residents in Lincoln and Boston despite independent research showing that Grantham residents have the furthest distance to travel to A&E than any other similar sized town in England.
“Mr Morgan confirmed that although a full return to A&E was simply not on the cards the Trust was committed to providing the best access to achievable, deliverable and affordable 24/7 urgent care.”
The trio also discussed concerns that the closure is having on the community including for vulnerable people at night who live on their own, families visiting sick patients in Lincoln and Boston, the cost of taxis to these locations, people being discharged in the middle of the night and the dangers for people living in rural areas.
Liz Wilson explained that people in Grantham felt they were not a high priority, and felt ‘rather unloved by health care providers’. She added: “The Trust could share more information about what they are doing to monitor the position at Grantham and explain why we have to wait for all these plans to be developed.
“Mr Morgan agreed that it would be helpful for the board to set out clearly what the long-term plans for Grantham were.”
The new chief has accepted an invite for a guided tour of Grantham to see the town and join one of the hospital vigils.
After being contacted by the Grantham Journal, chief executive Andrew Morgan confirmed that he was pleased with how how the meeting went.
He added: “I had a very positive and constructive meeting with Liz Wilson and Ian Selby. We discussed both the history of the overnight closure of Grantham A&E and the potential future of services at Grantham hospital, which is set out in the Healthy Conversation 2019.
“We agreed that it would be helpful to have more information comparing an Urgent Treatment Centre with the A&E service that has been in place since August 2016. I also agreed to meet the campaigners for further meetings.
“I re-iterated that I will remain open and honest about services at the hospital and that any proposed significant permanent changes will be subject to public consultation.”