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Campaigners' fight goes on almost three years after Grantham A&E overnight closure

Health campaigners have vowed to continue to “try any avenue” to get services reinstated as the third anniversary of the overnight closure of Grantham Accident and Emergency draws near.

Monday, August 12 will mark three years since the Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital group was created, while Friday, August 16, will commemorate three years of what was originally called a “temporary” overnight closure.

Since its inception, the campaign group has held a number of marches and protests, while members and supporters have attended ULHT board meetings and engagement events.

Cake delivered to Lincolnshire helath chiefs to mark 1,000 days since the closure of Grantham's A&E department. (9786467)
Cake delivered to Lincolnshire helath chiefs to mark 1,000 days since the closure of Grantham's A&E department. (9786467)

In May, campaigners presented Lincolnshire health chiefs with a cake to mark 1,000 days since the department closed at night.

Campaigner Jody Clark thanked everyone who had supported over the years, adding they had “shown we are a force of a community”.

“I am a determined individual and just because we haven’t got the answers we want yet, it doesn’t mean the fight is over,” she said.

The vigil goes on at Grantham Hospital. (6753449)
The vigil goes on at Grantham Hospital. (6753449)

“We will try any avenue to get our services reinstated. Let’s face it, unless we do something, we will just keep losing them.”

Jody is campaigning to get a new hospital built in order to save on the costs of bringing the current build up to standards, and enable purpose-built facilities to be brought back to the area.

She said: “It’s about time we had some good investment into our hospital services and our dedicated NHS staff and our community, deserve better.”

She has launched a petition, which has so far gathered 3,708 signatures.

Grantham A&E closed overnight following “significant staffing issues” and concerns over patient safety.

It is now part of the Healthy Conversations consultation, which proposes turning the facility into a 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre.

Residents view the change, which will see the most life-threatening situations sent elsewhere, as a downgrade forcing patients and their families to travel miles away for treatment.

Health bosses, however, say the vast majority of patients will still be seen locally.

Mark Brassington, Chief Operating Officer at ULHT, said the hospital’s future was “strong”.

He said: “We encourage members of the public to get involved in the Healthy Conversation 2019 which gives them the opportunity to help shape our hospitals across the county.

“I’d like to thank the campaigners for their ongoing commitment to the hospital.”

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