Health bosses reveal £450 million cost of proposed hospital changes in Linconlnshire

Changes to Lincolnshire’s hospitals as part of proposals to shake up health services in the county will cost around £450 million over the next decade.

Officials from the Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership said the money will be needed to tackle a backlog of maintenance, new buildings and renovation at existing hospital buildings across the county.

Sarah Furley, programme director for the STP, added that the “suggested changes” in the acute services review would cost around £52 million alone.

Among the options for services, which were revealed as part of the Healthy Conversation, was consolidating breast services at Lincoln County Hospital and the introduction of urgent treatment centres.

Other changes which will be looked at include:

Centralising a hyper acute stroke unit in Lincoln

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

But the STP failed in a bid to NHS England for cash last year in order to fund the plans.

Mrs Furley said the organisation is set to review its capital costs, but would be prepared for another round of funding.

“There are a lot of different funding routes that we can pursue,” she said.

“We can speak with NHS England, but we can also look to other funding routes through partnerships with other public sector services or through the private sector.

“We’re exploring that now and each one comes with positives and negatives and we need to think that through building by building.”

The acute services review suggested a number of changes to health services in the county, including breast cancer care.

Officials said the NHS “preferred option” would be to move the majority of the service to Lincoln County Hospital to create a “centre of excellence”.

This would mean Lincoln would provide all first outpatient appointments, as well as the triple assessment for consultation, imagery and biopsy.

But the move would require an expansion to the current breast unit at the county hospital, which officials said would cost an estimated £4.7 million.

Another option included in the report would be to consolidate the service at Grantham.

Coun Ray Wootten described the preference for Lincoln as “another nail in Grantham’s coffin”.

Sarah-Jane Mills, chief operating officer at Lincolnshire West CCG, said funding would be needed for either site.

“We would require additional funding if we consolidated at Grantham,” she said.

“Whichever development is chosen, we would require the capital funds.”

The STP launched the Healthy Conversation in March in an effort to tackle perceptions that the NHS “operates behind closed doors”.