A London law firm has confirmed it is representing a Grantham protest group as it opposes the closure of the A&E department at Grantham Hospital.
Law firm Leigh Day is representing the SOS Grantham Hospital group in its fight against the partial closure of the A&E department at Grantham Hospital by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT).
A decision was made by the trust on August 17 to close the A&E department overnight from 6.30pm to 9am for the next three months. It was previously open 24 hours a day.
The law firm says the Secretary of State has issued guidance to NHS bodies regarding the involvement of patients in service delivery - “Real Involvement - Working with people to improve health services”. This guidance is designed to put patients at the heart of decision making in the NHS and to ensure that no decision is taken about local services without patient involvement.
Rosa Curling, human rights solicitor at Leigh Day, is representing the SOS Grantham group. She said: “It is our opinion that the decision to close Grantham Hospital overnight for the next three months is unlawful.
“It was taken without proper patient involvement. Any decision to close an A&E department at a popular local hospital is a serious decision that clearly requires a proper consultation process. The people of Grantham are being denied vital services and we are now representing the SOS Grantham Hospital group in their fight to ensure that the people of Grantham have a strong voice in the NHS decision making process. Their voice must be heard before any changes are made to vital local NHS services.”
SOS Grantham Hospital is now raising funds for its legal fight against the closure.
To sign the petition go to www.tinyurl.com/savegranthama-e