Motion supporting the return of a 24-hour A&E at Grantham Hospital gets full support from county councillors

Coun Ray Wootten, right, protested at a rally outside Grantham Hospital, over the reduction in A&E cover in Grantham.
Coun Ray Wootten, right, protested at a rally outside Grantham Hospital, over the reduction in A&E cover in Grantham.

A motion calling for the reinstatement of full services at Grantham Hospital following the closure of the A&E department received unanimous cross-party support today.

The motion was tabled by Grantham Conservative councillor Ray Wootten at the meeting of Lincolnshire County Council.

After the vote, Coun Wootten told the Journal: “I am extremely pleased that regardless of politics all members of the County Council supported my motion to return A&E services to Grantham 24/7. It clearly demonstrates that we all care about our national health service and want the best for our communities.”

The A&E department at Grantham is currently closed from 6.30pm to 9am every night. It was closed on August 17 for three months but the hospitals trusts says it cannot guarantee that it will reopen immediately after that period is over.

Coun Wootten’s motion stated: “That this Council understands the staffing shortages throughout health and care services in Lincolnshire and the decision to temporarily close emergency services at Grantham Hospital if patient safety is at risk. However, this Council urges United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust to re-instate those services at the hospital at the earliest opportunity.”

The motion was seconded by Grantham Labour councillor Charmaine Morgan, chair of campaign group SOS Grantham Hospital, who told the meeting that a Judicial Review and a complaint to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman were being considered following the A&E closure.

Coun Wootten said that he had been informed by the chairman of ULHT Dean Fathers that the trust had successfully recruited at least one new medium grade A&E doctor since the A&E closure.

Coun Morgan said after the meeting: “The campaign is clearly now making an impact. It was vital people continue to work together to maintain pressure on ULHT. The current situation is unacceptable as the acute services remain closed.

“All people across the county must be prepared to challenge the downgrade of any A&E likely to come out of the strategic review. A number of members raised the general issue of the perilous state of the NHS nationally. We must continue campaigning locally and in Westminster lobbying the government to review the funding formulae and centralisation of A&E services that hit rural areas unfairly.”

Coun Wootten is tabling a similar motion at next week’s meeting of South Kesteven District Council where he again hopes to secureunanimous cross-party support.