July 21, 2021 5.38 pm This story is over 34 months old

Hospital bosses deny closure of A&E as infection rate spikes sparks fears of further changes

Spike in cases raises fears for A&E

Lincolnshire’s hospital bosses say they have “no intention” to change Grantham A&E following concerns over a spike in infection rates.

During Wednesday’s Lincolnshire County Council health scrutiny committee, Councillor Ray Wootten raised concerns that the town’s A&E may be at “breaking point” due to a lack of staff.

He said he was worried by data about a spike in COVID-19 infection rates in recent days, as well as increasing deaths across the country.

“Hospitals like Grantham A&E, which is close to breaking point due to a lack of staff, may have to close A&E if scientists predictions are correct that infection rates are rising fast and hospitals may not be able to cope.”

His concern was echoed by Councillor Macey who said: “Yes, it is very concerning to us all. We’re just starting to see restrictions lift and we are now seeing this spike going up.

“It is something we’ll keep a very close watching eye.”

He said he would be in contact with the Chief Executive of United Lincolnshire Hospital’s Trust to ensure that “if there any alterations are to be made, we’re aware of this before they happen.”

However,  Simon Evans, Chief Operating Officer at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Although COVID-19 cases in hospitals are rising, we have plans in place to manage this alongside maintaining urgent and planned care services across our hospitals.

“While we must remain responsive to the ongoing global pandemic, we have no intention to change the A&E service at Grantham hospital as part of our planning for increasing COVID-19 cases.”

As of Wednesday morning, the trust had 20 confirmed COVID-19 positive inpatients.