The chief executive of South Kesteven District Council has written to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, expressing members’ dissatisfaction at the continued closure of Grantham Hospital’s A&E overnight and urging him to intervene in the matter.
The issue was raised by Coun Ray Wootten at a meeting of the full council in November, following which there was extensive debate among members of all parties.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Matthew Lee, said that if the decision was taken not to re-open the A&E overnight as previously announced, he would commit the council’s full support to the efforts by fellow members, campaign groups and local Member of Parliament, Nick Boles, to do so.
Writing on behalf of members of the Council, Chief Executive Aidan Rave, emphasised the “incredibly strong feeling across the political spectrum and within the community,” about the lack of progress, “despite numerous targets and pre-conditions being met.”
Councillor Lee added: “The current situation is clearly untenable and unacceptable, hence taking the unusual step of writing directly to the Secretary of State.
“As well as expressing our dismay at the continued closure and the way in which the issue has been handled, we are stressing that the rapid growth of Grantham and the surrounding area should be a central factor in the decision making process.
“Grantham is already one of the fastest growing towns in the region. Over the next 20 years we are expecting to see another 15,000 new homes being built and the town’s population reach 70,000. The demand for a 24-hour Accident and Emergency department in Grantham is only going to increase.”
Coun Ray Wootten said: “I am pleased that the Leader of the Council has backed calls for the A&E department to be re-opened overnight in Grantham. We very much hope that the Secretary of State will listen to the strength of feeling and decide to intervene.”