South Kesteven District Council supports 24/7 emergency healthcare in Grantham
A council has given its backing to emergency healthcare being available around the clock in Grantham.
At a South Kesteven District Council meeting on Thursday (November 25), Coun Ian Selby (Unaligned - Grantham Harrowby) asked members to support a motion calling for 24-hour healthcare.
Grantham’s casualty ward closed overnight in June 2016 and is currently only open from 8am to 6.30pm.
The NHS clinical commissioning group said its preferred option was to provide a 24-hour urgent treatment centre, which would also be open seven days a week.
Coun Selby said: “It is vital that residents of the Grantham area have access to emergency healthcare which is accessible 24/7.
"Grantham Hospital is a vital facility for our community and I would like the chairman to write to the chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust, that South Kesteven District Council wishes to thank all the staff at this hospital for their continued hard work and service especially over the last two years.”
Grantham Councillor Ray Wootten, whose ward includes the hospital, said at the meeting: "Since the 16th August 2016 several Grantham Councillors have been supporting campaign groups in the fight to save Grantham Hospital on a cross party basis, unfortunately sometimes, regrettably politics have entered the debate.
"There is one thing that I am proud to support and that is the NHS, its staff, doctors and nurses who provide excellent care regardless of people's income and long may it remain. Having received emergency treatment on a number of occasions, most recently injuring my back, private treatment could not have given me better service and my thanks go to all the staff that looked after me.
"The motion presented by Cllr Ian Selby states, It is vital that residents of the Grantham area have access to Emergency Healthcare which is accessible 24/7; Madam Chairman we already have this with Hospitals in Lincoln, Peterborough, Boston and Nottingham available 24/7.
"At the last Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee we were informed that Grantham Hospital did not meet the criteria of a level 1 A&E before the overnight closure, neither was it a single specialist service and therefore it would be categorised as a type 3 department and that there was no difference between a level 3 A&E and a UTC Plus.
"I have questioned the use of the term UTC Plus which was used during the committee; this was the reply that I received.
"Type 3 A&E departments are called Urgent Treatment Centres or Minor Injuries. Services are not called ‘Type 3 A&E departments’ publicly to avoid confusion regarding the level of services that can be provided to the public with an A&E.
"There is no such nationally defined services called a ‘UTC Plus’ so this should not be used, however, we recognise that clinical colleagues often refer to this name in recognition of the proposed model offered an enhanced service to the UTC national specification.
"Madam chairman, we have campaigned to have the best services for our residents, returning Grantham Hospital to what we had prior to 2016. The change to an Urgent Treatment Centre was widely welcomed by residents as it was 24/7 and did not close at 6.30pm. Colleagues on the Committee said that we should accept a UTC.
"Several motions have been put forward by myself and Councillor Mark Whittington have been supported over the past five years. I hope that this motion is fully supported today.
"There still is chance for residents to either complete the NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group consultation on Urgent and emergency care, acute medical beds at Grantham, stroke services and orthopaedic surgery countywide.
"The consultation closes on December 23 2021. You can also attend a local consultation group on the 12th December on the Earlsfield Estate in Grantham but you will need to register something that we have done already."
Members of the council backed the motion.