Following our blog post in September 2016 advising that Grantham Hospital would trial a day time only operating period, with closures between 18.30- 09.00, it seems that a more permanent downgrade is now being considered.
Over 150 NHS bosses, councillors, and health experts attended a meeting in Sleaford on Wednesday 25 January to discuss proposals for the continued running and management of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT).
No final decisions have yet been published, but proposals are likely to go before public consultation in May.
The Lincolnshire Reporter noted suggested proposals to include a centralised maternity service across Boston and Lincoln in addition to changes to the children’s specialist services, and stroke services.
Plans also indicate a proposal to downgrade Grantham Hospital to an “urgent care centre”.
Allan Kitt, chief officer of South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said that the meeting would “allow us to gather together those senior clinicians and experts who have helped to develop our proposals, along with key local stakeholders, to look at what is being proposed and take a view on the impact of those proposals.”
“There will be some difficult choices to make as we look at the detailed information for each proposal… some of the proposals will enable us to deliver much better outcomes for our patients”.
Whilst proposals to improve patient care and service can only be a step in the right direction, it is feared that not everyone will support the proposals.
Indeed, back in September 2016, some protestors stated that the decision to reduce the opening hours of the A & E Department would put lives at risk and delay treatment for those who would instead need to travel Lincoln (Lincoln County Hospital) or Boston (Pilgrim Hospital) in the event of a night-time health emergency.
It is clear that any proposals released in the near future will be subject to critique as well as praise.
If you or anyone you know is affected by this, contact Ringrose Law for help or advice we have offices in Boston, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham and Newark.