United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has defended its decision to downgrade Grantham Hospital to a COVID-free urgent treatment centre.
Lincolnshire’s Health Scrutiny Committee had called for a full public consultation on plans to downgrade Grantham & District Hospital’s A&E facility.
The proposal would see A&E changed to a 24/7 urgent treatment centre, as well as non-elective patients being turned away to other hospitals to maintain a COVID-19 free site.
Plans had been approved by health bosses to downgrade the hospital despite an increased waiting list, sparking protests outside the Grantham site.
In response to the health scrutiny committee’s concerns, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has responded by standing by its decision.
ULHT insist that thorough reviews of how urgent elective care can be offered, whilst minimising coronavirus infection, have taken place.
Andrew Morgan, chief executive at ULHT, said: “We continue to manage a global pandemic situation, but are working to find ways to offer a wider range of services to our patients where we can safely do so.
“We have determined that the best way to do this in the short term is to create a COVID-free hospital site to deliver most of this routine care in the short term. Grantham is the obvious choice for this.
“We know the change to the emergency care offer at Grantham will be of concern to our local population,
“But I would like to reassure everyone that this is a necessary step to ensure that we can deliver more elective care for the whole population of Lincolnshire in as safe a way as possible.
“I’d also like to make it very clear that this is only a temporary measure during these exceptional times.”
Morgan has also confirmed that ULHT will keep the committee informed of any changes moving forward.