Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire future healthcare plans 'unacceptable'

Grantham and District Hospital sign
Image caption Grantham hospital's A&E could be downgraded if the plans are implemented

The leader of Lincolnshire County Council has branded elements of a plan to downgrade some local A&E services "unacceptable".

The sustainability and transformation report, suggests A&E services at Grantham hospital could end and be replaced with an urgent care centre.

It also includes proposals to centralise some maternity services.

Health bosses said they would consult on the proposals and take feedback into account when making any decisions.

Every health trust in England has been asked by the government to come up with a five-year plan to transform health services.

'Sustainable healthcare'

Martin Hill, leader of the county council, said while he welcomed some of the proposals in the report, there were parts which were 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."

The report suggests consultant-led maternity services could be centralised in Lincoln due to a shortage of trained staff across the two sites.

The idea was first reported in April.

Talking about the proposals, Andrew Morgan, chief executive of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: "It has not been an easy process and we have had to make some difficult choices about how to prioritise spending in order to maximise the benefit to our whole population."

He said although no final decisions had been taken, future healthcare needed to be sustainable.

Mr Morgan said: "What we are setting out is better ways of providing services - a stronger focus on care closer to home - more investment in general practice - and not having as many people referred to hospital."

A consultation will take place in 2017.

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