January 22, 2020 4.21 pm This story is over 45 months old

‘No plans’ to reopen Grantham A&E overnight until consultation end

It has been closed overnight for 1,253 days

Health bosses said there are “no plans” to return Grantham A&E to a 24/7 service until a public consultation on the future of hospital services is complete.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust closed the department overnight in August 2016.

The controversial decision has led to campaigners and councillors to call for it to be reopened ever since.

But Mark Brassington, chief operating officer for ULHT, told the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire that the trust had no plans to extend the hours of the service at this time.

“As an organisation, we will not be opening it 24/7 until the completion of the Healthy Conversations and consultation process,” he said.

ULHT chief operating officer Mark Brassington. Photo: Lincolnshire Reporter

Councillor Ray Wootten, who represents the town, reminded hospital bosses that the department has been closed overnight for 1,253 days.

Proposals for the future of Grantham A&E will go out to public consultation following the end of the Healthy Conversations engagement by the Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

Health bosses suggested in March last year that the department could become an urgent treatment centre.

Meanwhile, Mr Brassington said in October last year that there was “no debate” about returning the department to a 24/7 service.

Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital founder Jody Clark. Photo: Lincolnshire Reporter

Jody Clark, campaigner for Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital, said the overnight closure at Grantham A&E had gone on too long.

“We will not accept anything less than  24/7 walk in access at Grantham hospital and we have already waited long enough,” she said.

“We need the public consultation to resolve the overnight closure now.

“Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital will continue to hold the providers to account and push for a swift resolution, our community have waited too long. We will keep fighting to ensure we have safe local services back.”

Officials at the STP said earlier this month that no public consultation will take place until capital funding is secured for the shake-up plans.

A bid for further funding is expected to be lodged to government this Spring.

It was revealed last year that proposals for hospitals in the region would cost around £450 million over the next decade, with “suggested changes” in the acute services review costing £52 million alone.

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