Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Trust Boss claims Grantham A&E is an Urgent Care Centre, stalling Chorley A&E re-opening

GP's have asked the trust board why Chorley A&E can't be re-opened on a part-time basis like Grantham A&E. The trust boss says Grantham is not running an A&E but an urgent care centre, but maverick has proven otherwise...

Differences of opinion have broken out between the GP commissioners group and the hospital trust over what type of Emergency services are currently being provided at Grantham hospital. 

Grantham A&E department was closed overnight in August this year [2016]. 

As with Chorley A&E, health trust bosses at the Lincolnshire Trust said there weren't enough doctors to staff Grantham A&E around the clock. United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, who run Grantham hospital, said it was temporarily changing the opening hours of the Grantham A&E to 9am to 6:30pm.

So GPs at the meeting in September were asking the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals (LTH) Trust why can't Chorley A&E open the same number of hours as Grantham A&E?

The question was put to the LTH Trust at a previous meeting between GP commissioners and the trust.

Karen Partington, CEO of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS trust was asked by a GP why Chorley A&E could not follow Grantham hospital and open Chorley A&E 14 hours part-time.

Ms Partington told told the meeting she'd been in contact with the CEO of the Grantham Trust who confirmed that Grantham Hospital was not operating an emergency department but was providing services in line with those delivered by the Chorley urgent care centre instead.

The Grantham hospital emergency department is however still operating 14 hours a day, and this has been widely publicised.  Confusion must have broken out with one GP claiming Ms Partington should provide evidence of this via NHS England.

To resolve the issue I thought I'd don my Sherlock Holmes cap and contact the Grantham Trust to see if the hospital was operating an emergency department. Here's the reply I received....
Dear Gary,

Grantham A&E  is opened from 9am -6;30 pm seven days a week. It takes medical emergencies but not surgical emergencies. Grantham and District Hospital A&E department supports patients with minor and major injuries from 9am-6.30pm.

For more detailed information please visit  and you can also find some answers to  frequently asked questions on .

Kind regards

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Patient Experience Team
Grantham & District Hospital
101 Manthorpe Road
NG31 8DG

So, why would Karen Partington tell the GP-led CCG that the CEO at Grantham had told her emergency services were not available, when they were?

Of course it is possible the CEO of the Grantham trust may have misled Ms Partington about the services available at Grantham A&E. BUT considering all the media publicity about Grantham A&E remaining open - which Ms Partington would have known about - this is unlikely

In this case it isn't a matter of being 'economical with the truth' now is it?
But what do the hospital trust hope to gain by keeping the A&E at Chorley & South Ribble hospital closed?

Their are several reasons ranging from the trust needing a 12-month trial period to determine how the Urgent Care Centres  and other surrounding hospitals would cope with the closure; financial reasons due to the loss of A&E tariff and the large increase in UCC running costs; to the fact that NHS England  will withhold Sustainability & Transformation Plan 'funding' if the trust don't reduce their deficit enough to allow the Sustainability & Transformation Plans to be implemented smoothly. And of course, the elusive middle-grade doctors.

It's little surprise that the LTH trust board along with other healthcare associated bodies such as the  CCG, ambulance service etc. don't wish the public to attend their secret meetings.

It certainly brings into question who's running the show in the 'buyer - provider' internal NHS market. 

I've always said I have faith in my doctor, and in this case, I maintain that belief.

No comments:

Post a Comment