Gareth Davies MP discusses healthcare in Stamford, Bourne and Grantham
For all of us in this community, our local health care services are an absolute priority and necessity, writes MP for Stamford and Grantham Gareth Davies (Con) .
That’s why I, and all Lincolnshire MPs, push local county NHS leaders to see that national improvements translate to direct benefits for our corner of Lincolnshire.
Our local NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB) has been given the key powers by the national government to commission local healthcare services, including primary care services such as dentists and GPs.
As such, I regularly engage with these local NHS leaders, and I am always grateful to those locally who share their experiences with me, which are invaluable in informing my discussions.
This week, I was pleased to meet with the chief executive of Lincolnshire ICB, John Turner, and other members of the board to receive an update on local services and highlight feedback, both positive and negative, from constituents.
It was good to hear welcome news about Grantham Hospital, where the new Surgical Hub has received significant praise for their excellent care of patients and training for doctors. As one of the first accredited surgical hubs, the fantastic team in Grantham are making good use of two new £5.3m operating theatres.
The new facility will drive down waiting times across our area, supported by the added capabilities of our new Community Diagnostic Centre.
With the Urgent Treatment Centre at Grantham Hospital now also up-and-running, I was pleased to receive assurances from NHS leaders that any teething issues with the new patient booking system will be resolved imminently.
Residents in Bourne and surrounding villages will be glad to hear that the Galletly GP Practice, which serves over 15,000 local people, has recently been rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), placing it within the top 5 per cent of all GP surgeries nationally.
Bourne is fortunate to be served by two highly rated GP practices, and I am determined that level of service continues.
There was also an update on Lakeside in Stamford, where I was glad to hear that improvements are beginning to be made, with significantly shorter waiting times for those booking appointments, an increase in staffing levels, and more appointments both overall and face-to-face.
I have long called for steps to be taken towards improved access and, while there is clearly still a long way to go, I am hopeful that patients in-and-around Stamford begin to feel the benefits of these changes.
Nonetheless, I know from discussions with local people and responses to my recent local GP survey that many would like to see additional services within Stamford as the town continues to grow, and this is something I specifically raised with John Turner again.
I am pleased that the ICB has committed to looking into this further and with open engagement, and I have strongly encouraged this to be undertaken locally as soon as possible.
Further to this, the ICB are working with North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAFT) on how we can make better use of the important Minor Injuries Unit at Stamford Hospital, which is something I look forward to following closely over coming months.
Our local health services are there for us at some of the most challenging times. I am committed to continuing to work with local NHS leaders so that all across our area can access the full range of excellent local services.