Officers from Lincolnshire Police spent almost 10 hours a week transferring patients in need of medical care to other hospitals across the county while Grantham A&E is closed overnight.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) has said that police spent 78 hours in just eight weeks transporting people to other since the controversial overnight closure.
As previously reported, the A&E department at Grantham Hospital will remain closed overnight from 6.30pm to 9am until at least February 2017.
Trust bosses have said that they remain committed to fully reopening the A&E, but only when it is safe to do so and enough doctors are recruited.
In a report to Lincolnshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee, ULHT chief executive Jan Sobieraj said: “In the eight weeks that Grantham A&E have been operating their current hours, Lincolnshire Police have used other hospitals on eight occasions totalling 78 police hours in circumstances where they would normally use Grantham.”
The notes of all patients brought to the emergency department at Grantham District Hospital, by the police, from April 1 to August 14 were reviewed.
On average up to three patients per week were brought to the department after 6.30pm and before 9am.
In a live debate on Lincolnshire Reporter with Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital founder Jody Clark, ULHT chief operating officer Mark Brassington said that the trust is committed to understanding the impact of additional travel for officers transporting patients to hospital.
He said: “We don’t want to be tying up resources of moving people to other locations unnecessarily.
We are trying to still understand with the Police and Crime Commissioner the impact that it is having on the officers.
“It’s about trying to understand how many of those hours would have been used accompanying a patients to Grantham and staying with a patient at Grantham, how much of it is additional travelling hours or additional man hours that are being used because of Grantham not being available and being open.”
Councillors on the Health Scrutiny Committee will discuss these findings at a meeting on Wednesday, November 23.