Hospital future is bright insist health managers

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SENIOR health figures reassured South District Council this week that the future of Grantham Hospital is bright.

Members of the South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust attended a meeting with the council’s Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday at its request.

Chief Operating Officer of the CCG Allan Kitt is leading the review into health services in the area as part of the Shaping Health for Mid Kesteven Programme.

He said: “We want to improve safety and quality of care. Grantham Hospital is the centre of our universe.

“If it is the right thing to do it locally and best for patients we will do it. But it must be safe and cost effective. The tough message is that resources are limited. The ageing population is growing faster than the money.”

The NHS in Lincolnshire was set the task of making £275m of efficiencey gain in five years.

He added: “If people need to go to a specialist centre then we believe they have the right to expect the best quality service.”

The future of the hospital, according to Mr Kitt, is to give it a bigger role in planned care.

But the details of the consultation are not expected until September with the planned changes expected to go ahead in January or February of 2013.

Mr Kitt said the concern about the future of Grantham Hospital, he believed, sparked from the many reviews over recent years where services have been taken away. Staff uncertainty and anxiety over change were also an issue.

But he said: “Grantham does have a really bright future, there are no plans to close it.”

Specifically, the group said A&E will change as they try to make it ‘more efficient’ and ‘integrated’ but it will remain at Grantham.

The plan is for patients to be able to access GP services and mental health services alongside emergency care at a new A&E Care Centre.

But the group were unable to comment on the future of maternity other than to say it is one of the areas open to consultation.

A spokesman for the council said: “As a result of intensive questions of the various bodies, the Scrutiny Committee was reassured that the future of Grantham Hospital was bright and sustainable.”