Grantham

Grantham A&E campaigners stage static protest outside Lincolnshire County Council offices

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Campaigners demanding the reopening of Grantham A&E at all times have held a static protest outside Lincolnshire County Council’s offices.

The group aimed to make their voices heard ahead of a Health Scrutiny Committee meeting on Wednesday, November 23.

This comes after United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust made the decision to close the town’s A&E overnight from 6.30pm to 9am until at least February 2017.

The trust has previously told Lincolnshire Reporter that it is committed to reopening the A&E, but only when enough doctors are recruited.

However, in the the meeting, Lincolnshire county councillors voted to refer the overnight closure of Grantham A&E to the Health Secretary, as the closure is not in the interests of the residents of Grantham and the surrounding areas.

Councillor Charmaine Morgan. Photo: Steve Smailes/Lincolnshire Reporter

Councillor Charmaine Morgan. Photo: Steve Smailes/Lincolnshire Reporter

Charmaine Morgan, Lincolnshire county councillor for Grantham South and chair of SOS Grantham Hospital, told Lincolnshire Reporter: “As you can imagine for us, it’s a real blow that the unit was closed in the summer and even more of a blow to find out that the trust plan to keep it closed over winter as well.

“It is extremely important for us to have our voices heard.

“The Health Scrutiny Committee is actually one of the very few areas where the trust is actually held to account publicly.

“What’s happened is 120,000 people in the Grantham area are now going to be in some cases as far as 40 miles away from the next A&E unit and that’s completely unacceptable.”

Scared

Lincolnshire County Councillor Richard Davies. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire County Councillor Richard Davies. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

County councillor Richard Davies, who protested with the group before going into the meeting, said that he is scared for himself, his family and the people of Grantham.

He said: “Until we are in situation where at 1am we can be assured that my local hospital in Grantham has an A&E facility that is open, I’m going to remain to be scared.

“The concept of travelling potentially for an hour to A&E is extremely concerning.”