Grantham A&E downgrade is not acceptable, says county council leader

Lincolnshire County Council Leader, Coun Martin Hill.
Lincolnshire County Council Leader, Coun Martin Hill.

The Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Coun Martin Hill, says the potential downgrading of Grantham A&E department and other emergency units cannot be supported.

Coun Hill has made the comments in the wake of the publication of the Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan yesterday.

He said a county the size of Lincolnshire needs 24 hour emergency cover at all three main hospitals. Grantham A&E is currently closed over night as United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust deals with a staffing crisis in its hopsitals.

Coun Hill, said: “I believe there are very significant issues with the delivery of health services in Lincolnshire.

“The publishing of the NHS STP plan has raised many questions. We welcome some of the positive proposals for the potential future arrangements of healthcare in our county, such as area teams working better together and more timely, local access to services. But there are also some suggestions which we find unacceptable.

“Living in a large rural county, Lincolnshire residents have a right to expect three 24 hour hospitals operating in the county delivering appropriate emergency access and services.

“We do not support the permanent downgrading of Grantham hospital and do not believe that the maternity proposals at Boston would be safe for unforeseen emergencies in the eastern part of the county.

“We also have concerns about whether these proposals can even be delivered. In particular, the lack of information where the required investment of £205m will come from and whether all the different NHS organisations will be able to deliver the necessary changes, for example, East Midlands Ambulance Service.

“The key question of achieving adequate staff recruitment and retention still remains unresolved and brings into question whether the current NHS configuration in Lincolnshire is itself sustainable in the long term.

“We will continue to keep this high on the agenda and work with NHS organisations to ensure people in Lincolnshire get the health services they need.”