February 21, 2020 1.09 pm This story is over 29 months old

Hospitals trust ‘distrusted’ over Grantham A&E

Hospitals CEO says there is “considerable anger” over the issue

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has been “distrusted” over Grantham A&E and its future needs to be revealed this year, says the trust’s chief executive.

The emergency department was controversially closed overnight by the trust back in August 2016 on a “temporary basis”.

But the unit has not been reverted back to 24/7 opening hours since.

Andrew Morgan, chief executive of ULHT, said there is “considerable anger” over the issue and that he wants to go out to public consultation on the future of the A&E this year.

Andrew Morgan (second from right), chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.

“I am keen that during 2020 we do have that consultation,” he said.

“I don’t want this topic festering forever. I think that Grantham Hospital has a fantastic future.

“It’s not just about the A&E, but I know that is the focal point for all of peoples’ comments.”

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

But campaigners said the unit should be reopened 24/7 and have walk-in access.

The uncertainty led South Kesteven District Council to call on hospital officials to go out to consultation on the issue.

Lincolnshire County Council Leader Martin Hill. Photo: LCC

Meanwhile, a motion passed by Lincolnshire County Council will see the authority’s leader, Martin Hill, write to health bosses to call for the A&E to be reopened 24/7.

Councillor Hill said it was “beyond belief” that the county council was still discussing the issue three years on.

Mr Morgan said he wants to see the acute services review, which will include plans for Grantham, go out to consultation this year.

The review, which is being led by Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, will look at changes to services across hospitals across the county.

Officials at the STP said last 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.

No date has been set for the public consultation of the review.

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