County councillors express ‘disappointment’ at changes to NHS services in Lincolnshire

The Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire has expressed its “disappointment” with Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s decision on reconfigurations to orthopaedics, emergency care and stroke services in the county and has called for further updates on how the services will be implemented.

Grantham Hospital A&E.
Grantham Hospital A&E.

Coun Carl Macey, chairman of the Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire, said: “We are extremely disappointed with Lincolnshire CCG’s decision on these three service areas. All through the consultation process the committee has, for sensible reasons, disagreed with the proposals put forward, mirroring with opposition from local people. For example, over half of respondents disagreed with the plans to change Grantham A&E to a 24/7 walk-in urgent treatment centre which will mean more people travelling long distances to access A&E services and could put patients at risk.

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“Together with many local people, we’re not convinced about using Grantham as a “centre of excellence” for planned orthopaedic surgery – people in the east of the county will struggle to access the hospital with limited public transport. And the proposals to establish Lincoln County Hospital as a “centre of excellence” for stroke services will take a vital service away from the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston where many patients from the surrounding area and east of the county are currently treated.”

He continued: “Despite this disappointing decision we will be seeking further reports on how and when the new arrangements for services will be implemented to include staffing, both recruitment and retention. For transport and travel arrangements we’ll want to know any new local discretions allowed as part of the national non-emergency patient transport arrangements. For stroke services, we want to know details on securing the capital investment of £7.5m to increase capacity at Lincoln County Hospital and how increased stroke patient numbers are managed at hospitals outside the county. And we want confirmation of the services due to be provided at the Grantham Urgent Treatment Centre.”

John Turner, Chief Executive of NHS Lincolnshire CCG previously stated: “The review of these four services, and consideration of the public feedback received through the consultation, has been led by the senior clinicians who work in and with these four services. They have consistently recommended this set of proposals in order to deliver improvements in quality and the best possible outcomes for their patients.”