Happy birthday to the NHS
Grantham Journal column by Coun Ray Wootten, Grantham district and county councillor
I am certain that as we approach the 70th anniversary of the NHS on July 5, we have a service that although radically different from its conception, both in size and medical and technological advances, it is a service that is always there for us and one that is appreciated by everyone.
Dying young and particularly in infancy at the turn of the century was commonplace amongst the population and health care was out of reach for many.
It was reassuring to hear a commitment from Prime Minister Teresa May last week to a £20 billion boost for the NHS by 2023. She also stated that the NHS was the government’s number one spending priority.
National statistics show that over 10,000 fewer people are dying from a heart attack than a decade ago and 8,390 people have survived a stroke. The Lincolnshire Heart Unit has saved over 1,000 lives since it was opened in 2013.
It will be two years in August since the overnight A&E at Grantham Hospital was closed as a temporary measure, now confirmed by ULHT as permanent. The Minor Injuries Unit service may be also be withdrawn, meaning residents having to travel elsewhere for treatment.
ULHT has stated previously that Grantham Hospital will be a centre of excellence and that there is a bespoke
solution for a bright future. The Sustainability and Transformation Plan which outlines the future healthcare of Lincolnshire, drawn up by the Clinical Commissioning Group is a long way off, despite numerous calls from campaigners and councillors. However, the limited information we have is that the STP may not be revealed until 2019, if then!
The bespoke solution could well be a centre of excellence, for example an orthopaedic unit, possibly at the expense of our A&E service.
John Turner, the Chief Officer of South West Lincolnshire CCG, has accepted my invitation to attend a future meeting at SKDC Communities Committee to give a presentation.
Perhaps one day we will all know what is planned for our community. In the meantime we can only praise and thank all the NHS staff for their dedication and hard work.
‘Happy Birthday NHS’.