On Tuesday 7 November, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) Board agreed they wanted to reopen Grantham A&E 24 hours a day over the winter. NHS Improvement has asked that the final decision on the reopening be deferred by one month, in order to allow for an independent review of staffing to be carried out.
This review will look at the staffing model for all three A&Es, to ensure that before Grantham is reopened overnight, safe staffing levels can be maintained over the busy winter months.
The Trust has been successful in securing the employment of more doctors which increases our numbers to 22, slightly above the minimum of 21 middle grade doctors we need to safely staff the three A&Es.
The staffing situation is volatile and constantly changing as we are still very reliant on short-term agency doctors, many of whom only work occasional shifts or could leave at very short notice. There is also a shortage of A&E nurses, which is placing pressure on an already creaking service.
Jan Sobieraj, Chief Executive said, “On behalf of ULHT, I would like to thank the people of Grantham for their support for reopening over the past year. We appreciate what a difficult time it has been for some people.
“I want to reassure people that the closure of the A&E on grounds of patient safety had nothing to do with long-term future for the hospital. We’ve always said we were committed to reopening when we had safe staffing numbers.
“We are now working with our partners to review the options on the long-term future of Grantham. We are committed to supporting local health commissioners in engaging local people in this important decision and we will share any developments”.
NHS Improvement has advised that it expects the review of A&E staffing to be completed within a month. Until this is completed the opening hours will remain 8am to 6.30pm until further notice.
For further information contact the communications team: 01522 573986
Notes to editors
Grantham and District Hospital
- A&E at Grantham provides a limited range of services. It is restricted in its ability to support a full range of emergencies (including paediatrics, strokes, major trauma, severe abdominal pain) that normally would be expected to be treated in an A&E. It cannot receive patients by air ambulance.
- The health community (East Midlands Ambulance Service and local general practitioners) are aware that patients with certain medical conditions should not be taken or sent Grantham.
- Patients who require treatment and management beyond what is available at Grantham are transferred to Lincoln, Pilgrim or Nottingham University Hospitals.