ULHT’s decision to downgrade Grantham Hospital’s accident and emergency ward as part of its coronavirus containment plans “will be reviewed quarterly,” the health secretary has said.
Responding to a call from Grantham MP Gareth Davies to ensure the changes were “temporary”, Matt Hancock told the House of Commons: “I discussed this issue directly with NHS officials, Grantham will be open 24/7 as an urgent treatment centre and as part of plans to ensure COVID and non-COVID services are kept as separate as possible.
“We will ensure this position will be reviewed quarterly.”
ULHT’s plans will see A&E patients and non-elective patients turned away from Grantham Hospital to other sites.
Elective surgery and day cases such as chemotherapy patients will instead be taken from Pilgrim and Lincoln hospitals and transferred to Grantham.
The changes, which bosses have repeatedly said are “temporary” have sparked fears they could become permanent when the pandemic ends.
Andrew Morgan, chief executive at ULHT, has previously said: “We know the change to the emergency care offer at Grantham will be of concern to our local population.
“But I would like to reassure everyone that this is a necessary step to ensure that we can deliver more elective care for the whole population of Lincolnshire in as safe a way as possible.
“I’d also like to make it very clear that this is only a temporary measure during these exceptional times.”