Healthy Conversation proposals for Lincolnshire’s health services

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust is to turn Grantham A&E into an Urgent Treatment Centre as part of plans to shake-up healthcare across the county.

Partners from the four Clinical Commissioning Groups, along with other healthcare providers, announced the move as part of the Healthy Conversations 2019 media briefing in Sleaford today (Tuesday).

Health bosses said the downgraded service, which could be run by Lincolnshire Community Health Service, would allow the facility to be open 24-hours, seven days a week and would treat the “vast majority” of local patients.

Other changes which will be looked at include:

○ Centralising a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit in Lincoln

○ Breast Services being centralised to Lincoln or Grantham

○ The continuation of elective orthopaedic and trauma at Grantham, with emergency services under discussion

○ Maternity units at Lincoln and Boston to both get a midwife-led unit.

○ Louth Hospital could also get an Urgent Treatment Centre

Senior clinicians in the county say the NHS needs to change to improve the quality of care offered to patients, to attract more healthcare staff to Lincolnshire and ensure the health service is fit to meet the needs of the population long term.

During the briefing, senior healthcare professionals also outlined how the Healthy Conversations public engagement process on the plans will continue throughout the year.

Officials described it as “a listening exercise” giving residents the chance to get involved in the transformation of the county’s health and care services.

They insist it is not a formal consultation but an extensive programme of engagement events to create a blueprint which would focus on getting residents to improve their own “self-care” such as quitting smoking, improving diets, medicine cabinets in the house and using technology in a bid to limit the number of patients using health services.

It will look at mental health and learning disabilities. future sustainability of hospital services and things as travel and transport, IT and digital opportunities, recruitment and estates and buildings - factors affecting how well health services are delivered.

They will also consider how the national NHS Long Term Plan can work best for Lincolnshire

It would also look to get more services out into communities, and Lincolnshire’s 85 GP practices to work together and share resources better.

Dr Sunil Hindocha, GP with Lincolnshire West CCG said: “There are things we can do for ourselves which could make a big difference.

“This is our NHS, let’s look after it and it can look after us.”

He added: “There is lots we are proud of, but know there are areas where we need to change.

“We want to explain the need for change and the challenges we all face.”

Public engagement will continue until autumn, at which point further consultation will take place.

Dr Yvonne Owen, GP and medical director of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, added: “This is a conversation between the NHS and you, the Lincolnshire public, about what is important to you, what feedback and experiences you want to share and above all, how you would like to see our health service continue to improve.

“We will be open about the challenges our NHS faces – such as quality, recruitment and money, and what we can and can’t do.

“We will share our thinking as early as possible and be clear about the reasons for it. We will consider all of your feedback and report back on what we did or why we couldn’t act upon it.”

The initial series of engagement events will be held throughout March, held between 2pm and 7pm on the following dates:

○ Wednesday, March 13 – The Len Medlock Voluntary Centre, St Georges Road, Boston, PE21 8YB

○ Thursday, March 14 – Louth Library, Northgate, Louth, LN11 0LY

○ Tuesday, March 19 – The Storehouse, North Parade, Skegness, PE25 1BY

○ Wednesday, March 20 – Jubilee Church Life Centre, London Road, Grantham, NG31 6EY

Further events in Lincoln, Gainsborough, Spalding, Sleaford, and Stamford will be confirmed and promoted in the coming days and weeks.

More events for public and staff will happen throughout the year that you can attend to share your views – full details will be published on their website.

A survey will be available at all events and on the website.

Health facilities, website and social media pages will be sharing the latest information on the topics.

You can contact the ‘Healthy Conversation 2019’ team in a number of ways. You can email [email protected], call 01522 307307 or write to Healthy Conversation 2019, Room 2, Wyvern House, Kesteven Street, Lincoln, LN5 7LH.

Patient watchdog Healthwatch Lincolnshire urges the public to get involved in Healthy Conversations and ‘Have their say’ about proposed changes to healthcare services.

“This opportunity should not be taken lightly, it really is the best chance yet to be involved in shaping our health services in Lincolnshire, the more people that speak, the more influence we have about our how our services will be delivered in the future. We urge everyone to get involved.” said Sarah Fletcher, CEO of Healthwatch Lincolnshire.

If you would prefer not to attend in person but would like your views to be heard, complete the online survey by following this link:

You can also contact Healthwatch by email or telephone and tell them what you are thinking. You can email: [email protected] or telephone 01205 820892.