Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital don’t accept Lincolnshire Sustainability & Transformation Plan downgrade of Grantham A&E to urgent care centre

Representatives of Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital are appealing for Grantham residents to make formal complaints if they have been personally affected by the overnight closure of Grantham A&E.

This follows their 7th November meeting with  officials from South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), including Allan Kitt (the CCG Chief Officer and also Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan Leader), where they heard that the CCG had received no complaints about the closure of Grantham A&E.

After the meeting – where they also heard that as part of the Slash and Trash Plan Grantham A&E is to be downgraded to an urgent care centre – Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital have decided to  hold a protest on Tuesday, December 6 at 9:15 AM outside Grantham & District Hospital, 101 Manthorpe Road, NG31 8 Grantham.

Jody Clark, one of the Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital members, posted on social media:

“One aim of the meeting was to see if the the CCG knew of the impact to the whole community (public and professionals).
They are aware of some impact but haven’t had any complaints. We did say, most people wouldn’t think to complain to them. But they do get official statistics.”

Jody Clark continued:

“We would now like to ask for your input. 
If you have been personally affected, please share your experience with the complaints department of ULHT/EMAS/Whoever concerned.

So if you faced delay for ambulance please complain to EMAS and then if you also had delays at the hospital, direct those to ULHT.

This helps to show the impact of the community and if we have enough noise – they can’t ignore. If you would also please copy one of us in to your email, we can ensure they can’t ‘lose’ some of the complaints!”

Here are F4GH email addresses to copy your complaint to:

Pip Dowse

Here are contact details for complaints to the relevant organisations:


It is also a good idea to complain to the Clinical Commissioning Group.

It is quite a good idea to make a formal complaint as a public statement or a question put to the CCG’s Governing Body Meeting because then it has to go in their minutes and a meeting can also be the focus for public protest.

The next SWL CCG Governing Body meeting is on 30 November

To send in a question or complaint, email the Corporate Secretary/Manager Julie Ellis-Fenwick.

Many CCGs only accept public questions that relate to an item on the agenda so it’s a good idea to ask if this is the case with SWL CCG.

If it is, when the agenda is posted on the website  check it out and frame your question so it relates to an agenda item.

Clinical Commissioning Groups have a duty to make sure that the services they buy  – via contracts with providers – are being safely and appropriately provided.

South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group  hold the contracts with hospitals, GPs, and most other NHS services across your “footprint” area. If ULHT, the ambulance services, various departments and private providers are not delivering the services they were contracted to deliver, in a safe and appropriate manner, ultimately the CCG is responsible.

The CCG  may deny this but in the end they will have to admit that it is true. They are the budget holders, they have issued and signed the contracts – it is their responsibility.

Lincolnshire STP Leader says the Sustainability and Transformation Plan will see Grantham A&E downgraded to an urgent care centre.

Another aim of the meeting with the South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group was to see if they would oppose any downgrading of Grantham A&E in the Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

Jody Clark, one of the Fighting For Grantham Hospital members, said

“We certainly got some truths!
Apparently – We will NOT get 24hr A&E (as we knew it) back again! They want something 24hr but it won’t be the same as before! 
We stressed the importance of our A&E and Melissa Darcey challenged that this was the plan all along (under STP’s) that we would be downgraded to an Urgent Care Centre!”
We can not let them walk over us. They tried to say at the meeting they were providing what WE NEEDED!!!”

Melissa Darcey confirmed,

“Well the latest update is they plan to give us 24 hr services but not A&E. They have confirmed that it will be an urgent care centre, if we don’t stop it! That came from Allan Kitt, SW Lincs CCG and head of STP for Lincolnshire.”


The downgrade to an Urgent Care Centre is what seemed likely from the Sustainability and Transformation Plan Case for Change .

At the 7 November meeting, the Clinical Commissioning Group told F4GH members they will publish the STP once they have signed the two year STP contract 2017/18-2018/19 on 23rd December 2016. Which is too late for consultation, but they seemed to try and say that they cannot release the STP as it is just ‘a draft plan’

They brushed off the 23rd December contract signing by saying they are already ‘signing contracts’ yearly.

But the STP isn’t a draft plan, NHS England instructions (p21) told all 44 STP Footprints that the 21st Oct STP is a Final STP Delivery Plan.

The 23rd Dec contract is for the first two years operational delivery of the STP and it’s a radical change from how they have previously contracted for services.

Until NHS England isssued this new guidance, CCGs signed annual contracts that started from 1 April and – at least in Calderdale – went unsigned for months because of arguments between the hospitals Trust and the CCG about contract details and as a result had to go to mediation/arbitration.

This 23rd Dec deadline is bringing forward the contract signing deadline by 3 months and the contracts are for 2 years, which has never before been the case.  And if the CCGs don’t do this, NHS England/NHS Improvement will be down on them like ton of bricks. If SWL CCG were saying this is the same as in the past when they’ve signed annual contracts in April they were really bs-ing!

To say they’ll publish it AFTER signing the 23rd Dec contract is incredible. W. Yorks STP has conceded to publish it this week or next at latest. And even that’s too late to mean anything.

bs alert_cropped

F4GH do not want to accept the downgrading of their A&E to an urgent care centre – I’m sure you would all agree.
Together we are Stronger
United for our hospital.
Act local think national – this is happening ALL OVER ENGLAND

 Updated 9 November 2016 to correct source of quotes to Jody Clark, which had previously been wrongly attributed to Pip Dowse, very sorry Pip!

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