United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) has been urged to carry out a full public consultation into planned changes to make Grantham and District Hospital a Covid-free site "as soon as possible".
The Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire questioned ULHT and NHS management on their plans which would mean increasing the number of elective patients at Grantham hospital, including the transfer of chemotherapy, cancer surgery and other surgery from across Lincolnshire.
Councillor Carl Macey, chair of the Health Scrutiny Committee, said: "We share the concerns of many people in Grantham about these changes. They will have a significant impact on patients throughout the county, particularly in terms of travel to other sites and the downgrading of Grantham A&E."
"We have asked for regular updates on plans for the hospital and will be writing to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to make him aware of our concerns."
ULHT are recommending the temporary creation of a largely Covid-19 free Green site at Grantham and District Hospital for this next phase of the pandemic.
The urgent care offer at the hospital would also change from an A&E, open 8am to 6.30pm, to a 24/7 walk-in Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) and transfer unplanned admissions to other hospitals.
The committee agreed the following proposals:
- We welcome the return of 24/7 walk-in access to care at Grantham, along with the elective and planned treatments, but that we also put on record the Committee's concerns that the restoration plan will have a significant impact on patients throughout Lincolnshire, in terms of travel from their local to other sites, and the downgrading of Grantham A&E.
- To seek regular updates on the progress of the restoration plan for ULHT, including the impacts on patients of travelling to different sites.
- To record the Committee's view that full public consultation on the Lincolnshire Acute Services Review options should take place as soon as possible and to write to the Right Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, expressing the Committee's concerns, which have been raised today, as an indication of the Committee's position for any action in the future.