In June 2020, temporary arrangements were introduced across the Trust’s hospital sites as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The biggest of these changes was the temporary introduction of a ‘Green’ COVID-safe site at Grantham and District Hospital.
The board has today reviewed evidence around the current position of the pandemic and how services can be safely rebuilt and restored in the best interests of patients and staff. This is in line with what had been agreed from the outset as the ‘Green’ site was established.
Restoration of services has been agreed as follows:
* Existing services on the Grantham site will remain, with the aim to increase operating on the site over the course of the year. This will include retention of some chemotherapy day services on site at Grantham, and re-instatement of chemotherapy services at Lincoln and Boston. The board agreed to the restoration of these services, with implementation in April 2021 for completion by Friday 30 April.
* Specific, separately accessed, services run by partners on the Grantham site can return and operate almost independently of the core hospital services, with separate entrances and facilities. These services include: sexual health services run by Lincolnshire Community Health Services, outpatient and community mental health services run by Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust, children’s outpatient services run in the Kingfisher Unit, women’s outpatient, including ante-natal services and the Marie Curie offices.
It is proposed that there will be no patient, public or staff access into the remainder of the hospital site from these services. The board agreed to the restoration of these services as described, starting from the week of Tuesday April 6 for completion by Friday April 16, 2021.
* Outpatients, diagnostics, therapies and pharmacy services will be restored to Grantham hospital as a whole. The Trust has a small number of higher volume, more mobile diagnostic services, where social distancing requirements mean the Trust may need to retain these services elsewhere in Grantham in the short term.
The Trust will also be able to include a dedicated medical and surgical rehabilitation ward for the Grantham local population, which will include a faster local step down from specialist services in Lincoln and Boston as well as serving the inpatients at Grantham. The board agreed these services should be restored to the Grantham site from Monday April 19 and completed by Friday April 30, 2021.
* Restoration of emergency care services to a daytime (8am to 6.30pm) A&E, a same day emergency care unit, emergency admissions unit wards, access to all relevant diagnostic services and integrated support from the community teams. This will be supported by an enhanced out of hours primary care service at the front of the hospital, including walk-in services until 10pm and a booked service through the night. The board agreed to restore this previously run model (from June 2020) for the emergency care pathway by Wednesday June 30, 2021.
Chief Executive at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Andrew Morgan, said: “I would like to thank the people of Lincolnshire and all of our staff for everything they have done to support us during the pandemic. It is thanks to all of their hard work and support that we are now in a position to restore services across our hospitals, and particularly at Grantham and District Hospital which has seen the biggest temporary changes.
“We continue to monitor the a global pandemic situation, but with the falling number of cases in our community, the success of the vaccination programme and other evidence presented to the Trust Board, we agreed to follow the recommendations presented to us to restore services at out hospitals.”
The full Trust Board paper with more details around what has been agreed is available on the Trust website.