Lincolnshire

Plea for hospitals review details falls on deaf ears

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A senior county councillor said he is frustrated at the lack of openness by the Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership after no details were provided on the ongoing review of the county’s hospital services.

STP officials failed to share details of the acute services review with the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire despite repeated requests from committee chair Councillor Carl Macey.

The partnership is currently carrying out a review of hospital services across the county, including Grantham A&E which is closed overnight.

Lincolnshire STP were expected to give a quarterly update on the work of the partnership, including the review of acute services, to the health scrutiny committee on Wednesday, May 16.

Carl Macey, chair of Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire.

But Councillor Macey said the panel were sent a one-sided sheet of paper explaining what an acute services review is instead of what was requested.

As a result, the committee decided to withdraw the item from the agenda.

“It is incredibly frustrating,” said Councillor Macey.

“All we want is the STP to be more open and to bring the public along for the ride as with the Humber STP.

“We made it incredibly clear what we wanted was what they were doing with the review.

“It became quite clear when setting the agenda that what we had requested had not been sent over.”

He added that the move only compounds the lack of openness surrounding the STP.

But John Turner, senior responsible officer for the Lincolnshire STP, said that the partnership will share information on the review once the internal process is complete.

He said: “This is an ambitious and important task and we are currently undertaking in-house work with our clinical and other staff and partners.

“The public would expect the NHS to be constantly assessing how it develops in order to improve the health of the population, and this is what we are doing.

“The views of Lincolnshire residents and of our clinical and non clinical staff are vital in helping us to make decisions, and once the internal stage of our work is ready we will be sharing our thoughts and progress with key partners such as the Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee, and the wider public before any decisions are made.”

Mr Turner added that the STP have been talking with the health scrutiny panel regularly for the past five months on such areas as GP services, operational deficiencies and urgent and emergency care services.

Councillor Macey said he has written to Mr Turner, to express his disappointment but had yet to receive a response.

Meanwhile, the leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Martin Hill, recently demanded that the NHS publish its proposals for the shakeup of services across the county.

The health service came under fire from the county council for what has been seen to be a lack of progress on the Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan, which will set out plans for healthcare over upcoming years, if and when it is published.

An initial draft report outlining a required £205 million investment in the county’s three main hospitals and the downgrading of Grantham A&E was unanimously rejected by Lincolnshire County Council in December 2016.

Campaigners for the return of a 24-hour A&E service in Grantham recently said that the future does not look good for the service.