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Let's have a 'healthy conversation' about Grantham Hospital

Column by Dr Neill Hepburn, medical director of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Last week, Lincolnshire’s NHS launched the ‘Healthy Conversation 2019’.

This is a chance for everyone to learn more about our current thinking on the future of NHS services and a way for us to get meaningful feedback from members of the public about what future services may look like.

Grantham Hospital plays a vital role in caring for the Lincolnshire public and will continue to do so, but we know that without change to the way we use and structure our NHS, our services cannot improve and could be at risk for future generations.

As part of ‘Healthy Conversation 2019’, we are determined to address these problems to create an NHS that we all want and is fit for the 21st century.

The vision for Grantham and District Hospital is for it to provide ‘high quality, local urgent care and medical services with an Elective Surgery Centre of Excellence’.

Across the county, planned surgery is not infrequently cancelled because staff and resources are redirected to emergency surgery and medical services. This vision would see a Centre of Excellence for Elective Surgery at Grantham hospital, which will give certainty to patients that their operation will take place as planned.

This vision could also see an Urgent Treatment Centre developed at the hospital to provide 24-hour, seven-day-a-week access to urgent care services. This would replace the restricted hours A&E service and reinstate 24/7 urgent care, meaning that the vast majority of local patients who need care quickly would receive it in Grantham.

To ensure that people receive the right urgent and emergency care overnight, access through NHS111 during this ‘out of hours’ period’ would ensure patients are sent to the right place, first time. Critically injured and ill patients would be cared for at their nearest specialist hospital and treated safely and quickly by staff who have the right training and experience.

It would also see medical services maintained at the hospital by joining forces with local primary and community services, managing it as part of the local enhanced neighbourhood team. This would also mean that medical staff would in future be able to provide care in the community, as well as in the hospital.

It is important to remember that no decisions have been made and we need your input to make the best decisions. You can find out more and join in with the ‘Healthy Conversation’ by visiting www.lincolnshire.nhs.uk/healthy-conversation

There are also a number of open events you can come along to in order to find out more.

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