We have waited so long - now we have our say
Column by Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council
The NHS in Lincolnshire has at last published its plans for changes to services, as I’m sure you will all be aware.
We’ve been waiting for years to see detailed proposals to meet the challenges in delivering safe, high quality services.
Although they cover a wide variety of health and care services, the ideas that have attracted the most attention have naturally been those around our hospitals and the services they provide.
I believe there are many positives in the proposals which demonstrate key roles for all of Lincolnshire's hospital sites, giving them a secure and strong future.
The NHS in our county needs to be fit for the future, and I welcome the commitment to reinstating a 24-hour-a-day service at Grantham Hospital for those needing urgent treatment.
I would like to see this up and running and fully functioning as soon as possible, along with some assurances over appropriate access and staffing. This will form part of our feedback as part of the ‘Healthy Conversation’ the NHS is undertaking this year.
I would also like to see much-needed investment to bring our hospitals up to date, and I support calls for a new hospital for Grantham. Our hospital buildings have suffered from a lack of capital investment for too long and residents deserve facilities that people living elsewhere enjoy.
Overall, we will need to be assured that any changes to health services really meet residents’ needs.
Council officers will also need to consider the detail carefully and practically, so we can see how health services will continue to work alongside both adult and children’s social care services and our public health work.
At the county council we’ll be having our say so I’d encourage you to do so too - both during the initial engagement, and during the formal consultation later in the year.
We have been asking for NHS organisations to publish their future plans and have an honest conversation with the public for far too long, and at last it seems there is a firm commitment to do this.
It’s vital that NHS organisations listen to you - our residents - so you have choice and confidence in your health services.
For more information on what’s being proposed and how to get involved, through events and the online survey, visit www.lincolnshire.nhs.uk or phone 01522 307307.