Gallery: Thousands take to the streets in third Grantham A&E march

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Thousands of residents have marched against the controversial overnight closure of Grantham A&E.

The third protest against the closure saw campaigners march from St Peter’s Hill down Grantham High Street before heading onto Watergate and Manthorpe Road, walking up to the hospital on Saturday, February 25.

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.

From the end of March, opening hours in the morning will be extended by one hour from 8am.

This week, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked for the closure to be investigated following pressure from Lincolnshire county councillors.

Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles, who is currently receiving treatment for a brain tumour, met with Prime Minister Theresa May to raise his concerns about the situation.

Jody Clark, founder of the Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital campaign group and organiser of the protest, told Lincolnshire Reporter: “The overnight closure leaves us 28 miles away from emergency care.

“Six months is plenty of time to adequately recruit. If ULHT cannot, they need to find an alternative solution to provide safe overnight care for the Grantham and District community.

“The march is about us demonstrating the level of opposition to ULHT and South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

“We, the community, want local provision of health services and that includes a fully open A&E.”

Here is Dr Caroline Johnson, Sleaford & North Hykeham MP, speaking at the protest:

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