June 6, 2022 7.30 pm

Emergency council meeting called on Grantham A&E downgrade

The councillor who called it wants a unanimous vote to protest the change

By Local Democracy Reporter

An urgent council meeting to discuss the downgrade of Grantham A&E has been called.

The hospital site will become a 24-hour urgent treatment centre which would have 70 fewer acute care beds and no acute stroke care.

The decision by Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group has been criticised by campaigners who insist Grantham deserves a full A&E department.

South Kesteven District Councillor Charmaine Morgan, who called the meeting, hopes the council will send a unanimous message that the changes should be reconsidered, and that the Secretary of State for Health will intervene.

“The CCG argued that the hospital hasn’t really been an A&E for the last seven years so this isn’t really a downgrade, but that is an absolute insult,” she said.

“It has provided a wide range of services and life-saving treatments. This decision hasn’t been made on a sound basis.

“Even if only two patients a day get sent from Grantham to Lincoln, as the CCG predicts, that is more than 700 a year. Depending on where you live, the journey could be 45 minutes up to an hour and 20 minutes, and these will be the most sick people.

Councillor Charmaine Morgan has called the meeting into the hospital’s future

“We will lose acute beds, consultants and equipment, and elderly residents are likely to be the ones who are most affected.

“I was pleased that when I asked for the extraordinary meeting, several other councillors were right behind me. These concerns go cross-party.

“Hopefully, we will have a unanimous vote to register our protest against this decision. This will empower Lincolnshire County Council’s health scrutiny panel to challenge it and go the the Health Secretary.

“The CCG is trying to treat us like a small catchment area, but the hospital covers thousands of people across Grantham and parts of Sleaford, Newark and Melton Mowbray.”

Councillor Morgan has also written to Grantham MP Gareth Davies asking what could be done to prevent ‘irreversible damage’ happening to the hospitals’ services.

The extraordinary meeting of the full South Kesteven District Council will take place on Tuesday, June 14.

Although the CCG has avoided calling the change a ‘downgrade’, it is described that way in the meeting agenda.

The Urgent Treatment Centre is expected to be fully operational in the next 12 to 18 months.

The decision came as part of a shake-up of Lincolnshire’s health services which the CCG says will offer better care and reduced waiting times for patients.