August 6, 2019 2.55 pm This story is over 28 months old

Grantham A&E closure a “dire, unsafe situation” says councillor

It’s been three years since the A&E was temporarily closed overnight

Grantham residents have been left in a “dire, unsafe situation” after three years of overnight A&E closure, a councillor has told hospital bosses.

South Kesteven District Councillor Ian Selby was one of several people to submit questions to United Lincolnshire Hospital Board prior to the closure entering its fourth year on August 12.

“Our residents have been left in a dire, unsafe situation you still fail to recognise three years later,” wrote Councillor Selby, accusing the trust of reneging on promises to reopen the service and passing the buck from staff numbers to safety reasons.

“We will not give up fighting to correct this injustice so as you still stubbornly refuse to restore our overnight A&E service will you offer an apology to the people of Grantham for this dire predicament you have left us in?”

United Lincolnshire Hospital’s Trust Chief Executive Andrew Morgan. Photo: Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

New chief executive Andrew Morgan refuted the allegations of reneging or passing the buck.

“There are still significant emergency care staffing issues within this trust and when we shared those yesterday with the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister they were both shocked by the staffing levels in our A&E departments,” he told those attending.

“I would not accept, as the question does, that this was some sort of wilful act of harm.

“We very much regret where we got to on Grantham but we can’t just reverse our decision, safety and staffing issues remain.”

Campaigners have vowed to keep fighting. Photo: Steve Smailes for Lincolnshire Reporter

The chief executive, and medical director Dr Neill Hepburn, fielded several questions on Grantham A&E including solutions, safety and whether the future of the service would include walk-in access.

Dr Hepburn said proposals were still being discussed under the Healthy Conversations engagement, but said ultimately the decision rested with the CCGs.

He added however that a walk-in service may not be the safest option if it led to delays in admission to an appropriate place.

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