Grantham’s A&E department will stay closed overnight until at least February, says the trust that runs it.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) board met this morning (Tuesday) at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, where on the agenda was the decision over the short-term future of Grantham’s emergency department.
The board has decided to keep Grantham’s A&E closed between the hours of 6.30pm and 9am daily, a move introduced on August 17 to send staff to under-resourced A&Es at Lincoln County and Boston Pilgrim.
Trust medical director Suneil Kapadia told today’s gathering, which included campaigners from Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital (F4GH), that the “best case scenario” now will be re-opening the A&E unit in February, when he hopes the staffing levels across Lincoln County and Boston Pilgrim will be adequate.
While progress has been made in recruiting new staff, the meeting heard, no new staff are yet actively in post. Therefore, the board says it is not yet in a position to reopen our A&E to operate safely 24 hours a day.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Kapadia said: “The decision has been made on not being able to recruit sufficient staff to enable all three sites to be open safely.
“The aim is to review it on a month by month basis.
“If we managed to acquire the number of doctors we need there would not be the need to wait until February/March, when we will try to be open again.
“The trust board chairman and directors would like to have Grantham A&E 24/7 as soon as possible and that’s our stated intent.”
The board said it will review the closure at each monthly board meeting.
On Friday, November 11, regulators NHS Improvement will review the decision.
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