Grantham Hospital campaigners urge support

Councillor Charmaine Morgan
Councillor Charmaine Morgan
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Trust to settle A&E fate

Campaigners are urging people to protest at a meeting on Friday which will settle the fate of Grantham Hospital’s A&E department.

The Board of United Lincoilnshire Hospital’s Trust meets in Sleaford at 9.15am to vote to maintain A&E services as they have stood since 2016.

The move, makes permanent a supposed temporary situuation which arose due to staff shortages.

Despiote recruiting extra staff, the ULHT has been told by NHS experts that even with more staff, restoring 24/7 A&E coverage would not be in the interests of patient safety.

But campaigners say the move leaves 120,000 having to drive an hour for emergency treatment at night, putting lives in danger.

They also say that the A&E treats enough seriously ill people, and 24/7 service should continue.

contrary to what the trust has been told.

Coun Charmaine Morgan, Chair of SOS Grantham Hospital, who have been campaigning to save Grantham Hospital services since 2006, said: “NHS Improvement (NHSi) have known since August 2016 what plans ULHT had made for recruitment and even approved the night closure. It is disgraceful that NHSi are arguing, now that the ULHT recruitment target has been met, that the recruitment plans being worked to for a year were inadequate. The NHSi interference now, is most unwelcome.”

Coun Morgan said new evidence shows that, in fact, conditions including breathing difficulties, serious bleeding, heart failure and sepsis have been treated with more than 6700 critically ill people being admitted into hospital in 2015/16 from the A&E unit.

She continued: “The number of patients admitted is so high that there is a concern ‘a reduction in A&E hours, or the downgrade of Grantham Hospital A&E to an Urgent Care Centre will have a detrimental impact on the future viability of key staff and other hospital departments, especially the Emergency Aassessment Unit and Ward 1.’ It appears we are fighting for the future of our hospital too.”

The Grantham district councillor added this week’s South Kesteven District Council approval ofd plans for the new Rioja King 31 retail park on the southside of Grantham increases the need for A&E 24/7 cover.

She said: “This park may bring up to 3.5m more people per year into the Grantham area and was not a consideration of the night closure, to our knowledge.”

Coun Morgan also issued a plea for help.

“SOS Grantham Hospital are calling upon people in the Grantham & District hospital catchment area to join other hospital campaigners and support Grantham Hospital A&E by attending the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust Board, which is open to the public.”

“We know it is short notice but is vital at this critical time that ULHT are aware of the importance of their decision to people across the Grantham, Melton Mowbray, Newark and Sleaford communities. All are reliant on Grantham Hospital A&E, which sits on the edge of the Lincolnshire boundary and also covers parts of Nottinghamshire, Rutland and Leicestershire on the A1 corridor.”

*Anyone needing a lift or able to provide a lift may contact Cllr Charmaine Morgan on 07398 156296 with full contact details and address,or, email charmainemorgan50@gmail.com.