Council raises concerns over health care plans

Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council
Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council

The leader of Lincolnshire County Council has said the authority has concerns over some of the plans revealed in plans for the county’s health services revealed today (Tuesday).

Coun Martin Hill said there were significant issues with the delivery of services but said the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan released today ‘raised many questions’.

We do not support the permanent downgrading of Grantham hospital and do not believe that the maternity proposals at Boston would be safe for unforeseen emergencies in the eastern part of the county.

Lincolnshire County Council leader Coun Martin Hill

He welcomed ‘positive proposals’ including team teams working better together and more timely, local access to services.

However, he said there were suggestions the council found ‘unacceptable’.

He said: “Living in a large rural county, Lincolnshire residents have a right to expect three 24 hour hospitals operating in the county delivering appropriate emergency access and services.

“We do not support the permanent downgrading of Grantham hospital and do not believe that the maternity proposals at Boston would be safe for unforeseen emergencies in the eastern part of the county.

“We also have concerns about whether these proposals can even be delivered. In particular the lack of information where the required investment of £205m will come from and whether all the different NHS organisations will be able to deliver the necessary changes, for example, East Midlands Ambulance Service.

“The key question of achieving adequate staff recruitment and retention still remains unresolved and brings into question whether the current NHS configuration in Lincolnshire is itself sustainable in the long term.

“We will continue to keep this high on the agenda and work with NHS organisations to ensure people in Lincolnshire get the health services they need.”

Organisers of the STP today said ‘no final decisions had been made’ and any changes to hospital services would be subject to a full public consultation.

Lincolnshire’s healthcare system is estimated to overspend by £182 million by 2021 and the STP released today looks to save £130 million across the county.