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Campaigners arrange torchlit vigil to take place at Grantham Hospital on day that A&E department is replaced by urgent treatment centre

Campaigners will hold a torchlit vigil at Grantham Hospital this evening (October 31) as the A&E department closes to be replaced by an urgent treatment centre.

SosGrantham Hospital is inviting people to take part in the vigil from 7.30pm until 8.30pm outside Grantham and District Hospital to mark the downgrade of the A&E department.

Councillor Charmaine Morgan, Chair of SOS Grantham Hospital, said: “SosGrantham Hospital have been campaigning to save our A&E since 2006.

A vigil will be held on the day that Grantham Hospital A&E closes to be replaced by an urgent treatment centre.
A vigil will be held on the day that Grantham Hospital A&E closes to be replaced by an urgent treatment centre.

“Others fought even before then. After previous success in preventing the loss of acute care locally our A&E unit it is to be downgraded to an' enhanced' Urgent Treatment Centre on 31 October.”

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust announced earlier this month the date for introduction of the UTC.

Coun Morgan added: “We urge local people to use the new Urgent Treatment Centre, which will be open 24/7 and will now still offer patient stabilisation and resuscitation after much lobbying from campaigners during NHS public consultations.”

The campaign group says that despite the concessions made, over 700 people a year, who are most ill, will be at higher risk as a result of the downgrade. This follows a pattern across the country as A&Es are downgraded or lost including those at Newark, Melton Mowbray and now Scunthorpe which is currently at risk.

Coun Morgan said: “We clearly cannot take our local NHS A&E services for granted and will continue to monitor local services with the aim of protecting and improving them. There are still a number of questions over what care can be provided at the new unit.

“After discussion with other campaigners we felt the loss of our A&E could not occur without some recognition. I am delighted that our Mayor, Councillor Mark Whittington and Councillor Marianne Overton, from the Local Government Association and a former member of the Primary Care Trust which opted to save our A&E in 2006, will be joining us.”

On announcing the date for the closure of Grantham Hospital A&E, ULHT chief operating officer Michelle Harris said: “We are pleased to be able to restore a 24 hour service to Grantham and District Hospital.

“This new service will be an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) which is equipped to see and treat the vast majority of patients who would previously have been seen in the A&E Department at the site.”

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