Cllr Charmaine Morgan calls out Lincs Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s misleading info about range of services at Grantham A&E

SOS Grantham Hospital is scathing about Lincs Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s “Healthy Conversation” engagement about proposals for future health services across the county.

The campaign group has concerns about the accuracy of information provided for the “engagement”. Specifically, they point out that the description of services currently available at Grantham A+E does not reflect the wide range of emergency conditions treated at the hospital. They say that downplaying the role of Grantham A+E is misleading and reflects how United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust handled the Night Closure of Grantham A+E.

They urge the public to attend the engagement event at the Jubilee Church on 20 March and tell Lincs STP what they think.

Cllr Charmaine Morgan, Chair of SOS Grantham Hospital said,

“It appears under new proposals being considered not only our A+E but also Acute Inpatient services at Grantham Hospital are in jeopardy. Local people will die if resuscitation and patient stabilisation are lost.

I had a reassurance from the former Chair of the SW Lincs CCG Alan Kitt that these services would remain at our hospital due to its remote rural location and poor public transport.

The description of services currently available at Grantham A+E does not reflect the wide range of emergency conditions treated at our local hospital. It states what GDH A+E cannot treat rather than what it does. The downplaying of the role of our A+E is misleading and reflects how ULHT handled the Night Closure of our A+E.

We called for an investigation into this issue following the decision by ULHT not to re-open our A+E unit at night in December 2017.

The data provided by ULHT proves that Grantham Hospital A&E provides a local vital life-saving role offering resuscitation and patient stabilisation in the event of a medical emergency.”

Have critical care services been downgraded by stealth since 2017?

Cllr Morgan added,

“These conditions cannot/could not be treated in a level 3 Urgent Care Centre. If there has been any subsequent degradation of the critical care available then ULHT need to explain what it was and why no formal public consultation has taken place to date.

“A subsequent FOI response confirmed every level of severity of case was treated. This contradicted statements made to ULHT board members in December 2017.”

Reducing patient access to cook the statistical books – as was done to close maternity ward

SOS Grantham Hospital understand that cardiology services are affected or at risk in the hospital cuts and centralisation proposals.

Cllr Charmaine Morgan said,

“It is hugely concerning to hear of local people needing operations being initially offered locations outside this area and only if they protest being offered Grantham Hospital. We have also heard that ambulances have been instructed not to use Grantham A+E and on 111 there is no reference to the Out of Hours Service. This will reduce patient access prior to analysis of statistical data in advance of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan. This would give a false impression of the level of need locally.

The same process was used to close our maternity unit. The level of need was over 1000 births a year but by the time ULHT and SWLincs CCG had altered staffing levels and admission criteria only 80 babies could be born locally at Grantham Hospital. We are keen to ensure Boston retains its maternity paediatric and neonatal services.

Campaign actions

SOS Grantham Hospital is now considering what appropriate action to take. There are a number of options. They will resubmit the Petition wording as part of our response, which was specifically collected in anticipation of the STP rollout. The petition, signed by 60,000 people and opposing any downgrade to our A+E, was addressed to the Sec State for Health, Lincolnshire County Council and ULHT and handed over in July 2018.

SOS Grantham Hospital are discussing action with other local campaigners including those looking at countywide initiatives. A further formal consultation is planned later this year. The campaign group will be holding a Public Meeting and rally. They point out that the Wednesday Night vigils outside Grantham Hospital are still ongoing thanks to the wonderful people who have shown such commitment and dedication.

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