A leading hospital campaigner says the number of signatures on her petition for a new hospital in Grantham should be higher and looked to scotch rumours about the plans.
Jody Clark from the Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital (F4GH ) group has so far garnered more than 1,800 signatures on her petition on the Parliament website, which calls for a new hospitals on the site of the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks off the A52.
However, she said: “I think it’s little bit disappointing it’s taken so long to get signatures. Considering there’s 9,000 members on F4GH, we should have clearly 9,000 signatures already.
“Surely everybody in Grantham wants better health services, not only for our dedicated and hard-working staff, but for us as well.”
She felt a lot of people had been put off by myths that the new facility, if built, would be a private build and that it would accrue debt.
She said: “None of those things are true at all, we’re looking at capital funding. The sale of the old site once the new build has taken place will easily offset the cost of the hospital.
She added that local agriculture and businesses could also be asked to invest in the services to improve them for their workforce.
“It’s in everybody’s interest to ensure we have safe, accessible, local healthcare for everybody.”
Campaigners say the barracks would be “ideal” as it is a large site which has already seen nearby approval for a new 3,700-home garden village.
Jody Clark, who has led the campaign group since the overnight closure of the hospital’s A&E in August 2016, said the town needs healthcare funding for the long term.
She said responses from healthcare providers had been positive, and had resulted in further discussions on how mental and social care could all be brought onto one central campus in the town.
She added there was hoped to be a focus on being environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art and sustainable for future growth.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust closed Grantham Accident and Emergency department overnight in August 2016, a move which it said was “temporary’.
Much of the closure has been put down to the trust’s staff recruitment and retention issues.
Campaigners have called for a solution to the overnight closure after increased demand at the department.
Health bosses recently launched the Healthy Conversations public engagement which is to examine changes to health services across the county across all sectors.