Grantham MP Nick Boles has slammed an NHS body after this morning’s decision to delay the possible restoration of a 24 hour A&E unit in the town.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust decided it was in favour of restoring the 24 hour service at Grantham but has agreed to advice from NHS Improvement which wants a delay of a month to allow for a safety review.
Although it is not obliged to go along with the review, ULHT decided at today’s board meeting that the review should go ahead to make sure that all three A&E units under the trust are sufficiently staffed to make the service safe.
Mr Boles said: “I am very disappointed that NHS Improvement has intervened to stop ULHT announcing the reopening of Grantham A&E at nights. I believe their actions are legally dubious and morally indefensible. I will be raising the matter in the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity.”
ULHT said that it would not be safe to reopen Grantham A&E 24 hours a day until the trust had 21 middle grade doctors working across its three A&E sites. That figure is currently 22, although the trust says the situation is still ‘fragile’ because a number of those doctors are locum or agency staff and therefore not permanent.
ULHT decided to close Grantham A&E overnight in August 2016.