A community protest against the controversial decision to close Grantham A&E overnight has taken place in the town.
The march began at 12pm on Saturday, September 3, with protesters starting from St Peter’s Hill and working their way to the hospital.
An estimated 3,000 were in attendance, including the town’s MP Nick Boles and Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill.
Great turnout despite shocking weather in support of Grantham Hospital – the fight goes on! pic.twitter.com/lYW3hGFbKS
— Richard Davies (@rgdavies) September 3, 2016
Great turnout for Grantham hospital March pic.twitter.com/ygURXmI5QS
— Martin Hill (@CllrmHill) September 3, 2016
As previously reported, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust made the decision to slash opening hours at the town’s A&E to 9am to 6.30pm.
The decision means that the A&E department will be closed more than it is open.
Hospital bosses said that there were insufficient numbers of doctors to fill shifts in the three Lincolnshire A&E departments 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Former residential care worker Jody Clark, who is a carer to her two youngest sons with ADHD and autism, said: “I created the Facebook group, Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital, on the morning of August 12 because I knew I wouldn’t be the only resident angry at the closure at night and wanted to share information and exchange ideas as to how we as a community could make our voices heard by ULHT.
“Within 24 hours the group had grown to over 3000 people and has continued to rise, reaching over 6000 members within the first week.
“It goes to show the level of opposition. The community efforts have made me proud of Grantham. I am overwhelmed at the response so far.”
The group has received legal representation from law firm Leigh Day, who have suggested that the decision by ULHT was “unlawful”, something the trust has denied.