Minister of State for Health responds to Grantham Hospital concerns

County councillors have received a letter back from the Minister of State for Health and Social Care, Edward Argar MP, acknowledging their concerns about the delay in resolving the long-running issues over NHS services and A&E provision at Grantham Hospital.

Grantham Hospital A&E, now temporarily an urgent treatment centre. EMN-200207-175846001

Councillors Linda Wootten, Ray Wootten, Mark Whittington, Bob Adams and Adam Stokes wrote to the Government asking for support in saving the A&E service at Grantham Hospital and reinstating from its current status as an urgent treatment centre.

The A&E used to be the closed unit for many Sleaford area patients needing urgent treatment until health bosses temporarily closed it at nights to allow staff to cover shifts at Lincoln and Boston during a staff shortage. With the hospital now being designed a ‘green zone’ for non-covid procedures and the A7E downgraded to an urgent treatment centre, the public have battled for years to get the situation reversed once the pandemic eases.

The county council’s Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire has been informed of the response, which acknowledges the “temporary” changes to services during the Covid pandemic and the “frustration with the delay in resolving the ongoing longer term issues around the provision of services in the Grantham area”. It goes on to highlight the importance of “appropriate engagement with staff, local people, and their representatives” for any service changes. The letter has been forwarded to the Department of Health and Social Care.

“Although it’s taken some time with the ongoing pandemic, we were pleased to get a reply from the minister,” said Coun Linda Wootten, county councillor for Grantham East. “Our priority has always been to ensure that the people of Grantham and district receive the best hospital treatment that the NHS can provide and we will continue the fight for the return of our A&E.”

“We are a rural town and residents are suffering much inconvenience having to travel for A&E services.”

Coun Carl Macey, chair of the Health Scrutiny Committee, said: “It is welcome news to see that fellow councillors’ concerns have been acknowledged by Government. We all share the concerns of the many people in Grantham about the changes which have had a significant impact for people, particularly in terms of travel to other sites and the downgrading of Grantham A&E.

“As a committee we have previously written to Government on this issue and we will continue to press United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and NHS management on plans for ensuring comprehensive hospital services that local people deserve.”