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Grantham Journal column: No confidence vote in hospitals trust is right

Charmaine Morgan, chair of SOS Grantham Hospital, outside Grantham A&E unit.
Charmaine Morgan, chair of SOS Grantham Hospital, outside Grantham A&E unit.

The news that United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust is considering the removal of the orthopaedic trauma unit at Grantham Hospital has sent shock waves through those concerned at the future role of Grantham Hospital. As someone who is walking today thanks to the fantastic team, once led by Mr Haliday, even the thought of travelling over Lincolnshire’s roads with a multiple fracture brings a shudder. Rightly, campaigners are calling for a vote of no confidence in the hospital trust board who, prompted by NHS Improvement, are hollowing out our health services across Lincolnshire. The latest news being Boston’s Children’s Unit is now at risk.

The latest campaign initiative reflects similar action taken when GranthamA&E unit was closed at night. The response then by the board was to shrug off and ignore the concerns raised by consultants and campaigners alike. As well they can. For, lets be clear, under Conservative Government legislation NHSi and ULHT have significant power. They are virtually unaccountable to the public who pay for, and rely, on their services.

We live in a democratic country and governments who fail to listen to the will of the people should do so at their peril. Nearly sixty thousand of us signed a petition opposing the downgrade of our A&E unit. SOS Grantham Hospital will be taking that petition to Downing Street on Friday, July 6. You can join us. At the same time we are submitting Freedom of Information Act evidence to legal advisors which proves that the ‘scoring’ of patients helped at our A&E unit extends to those with life threatening conditions.

Furthermore, after contact with Newark health campaigners and local Labour Party members, I will be meeting Labour’s Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders at Westminster in May. Our A&E network is under attack. We will be calling for manifesto commitments to save and restore our incredible national NHS A&E network. Lets hope all parties listen.

In the meanwhile Government plans for planning have significant repercussions for local people and local councils. The government is increasing permitted development rights. This not only means traditional safeguards are bypassed and funding for infrastructure lost but also local control over the types of housing ie social and affordable homes, will be undermined. Government public consultation is taking place now. A draft revised National Planning Policy Framework - Consultation on the draft revised text of the National Planning Policy Framework can be accessed online at www.gov.uk. This consultation closes at 11.45pm on May 10, 2018. South Kesteven District Council will be consulting on their strategic plans mid-June.


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