Lincolnshire

Thousands march against Grantham A&E closure

Grantham march
Image caption Protestors marched through Grantham to express their concerns about the temporary closure

Thousands of people have protested against the overnight closure of Grantham hospital's accident and emergency unit.

United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust (ULHT) has said it does not have enough doctors to staff the department safely.

The department has been shut between 18:30 and 09:00 since August. Campaigners claim it puts patient safety at risk, which the trust denies.

Protest groups claimed around 6,000 people took part in the march earlier.

Conservative councillor Ray Wootton said of the march: "I think it sends a clear message to the trust that Grantham people will not take no for an answer," he said.

Jody Clark from the group Fighting for Grantham Hospital said: "I cannot understand why they believe it is in the interest of patient safety to keep it closed when it clearly is not."

Image caption The trust which runs the hospital said it accepted the decision was unpopular with people in Grantham

ULHT said it does not have enough doctors to staff the department safely and also maintain services in Lincoln and Boston, which see more patients.

It has insisted the closure is temporary until it can recruit enough staff to fully resource all three units.

It acknowledged the decision was unpopular and added it supported the right of people to protest against it.

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