Grantham Journal column: I’m passionate about our hospital and will hold trust to account

Ray Wootten - Conservative ENGEMN00120130516114214
Ray Wootten - Conservative ENGEMN00120130516114214
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When residents speak to me about Grantham Hospital it is usually with a passion about the care and service they have received, and sometimes it is in anger aimed at the board of the ULHT.

This normally arises after people have been referred to Lincoln Hospital whereby they have had to endure long waiting times for appointments which they believe could be carried out in Grantham.

I am a supporter of the National Health Service and believe that we are fortunate in Grantham to have a hospital. I moved from a similar sized town 11 years ago where the nearest hospital was 14 miles away and appreciate how vital it is for Grantham and the surrounding villages to have this service.

That is why at every opportunity I get I make it known how passionate the public are to retain the facilities we have here in Grantham.

The outgoing chief executive Jane Lewington described the future of the hospital as “bright” and these words were repeated by the chief officer, Alan Kitt, at Tuesday’s South West Clinical Commissioning Group AGM, which was held in Grantham. Mr Kitt presented his report highlighting that emergency admissions were down by seven per cent. This was achieved by implementing the ‘Shaping Health’ programme which went out to full consultation in 2013.

Key to this was the way care was delivered in Grantham to get the very best services that the CCG can commission.

The new ambulatory care has started in Grantham, which I have seen working first-hand in Peterborough Hospital, whereby patients are treated without having to be admitted into hospital, saving beds which reduces costs and allows patients to return home after their treatment.

The CCG has worked closely with the hospital to improve services and to support the A&E department by working to reduce the number of those who attend A&E with minor injuries and illnesses, who can be treated by the GP practices that provide a minor injury service.

Lincolnshire Health and Care has been established to undertake a complete review of the current health care system and to create a new structure to provide good quality and safe care engineered with patients needs at the core. This plan hopes to deliver improved quality of care, bringing care closer to home through neighbourhood teams, supported by urgent care centres based around existing community hospitals.

Next week, the ULHT will also be holding its AGM in Grantham; once again I will be attending, putting questions to the board and holding them to account.