STRUCTURE: NHS Lincolnshire has opened a 90-day consultation on future services to be provided at Grantham Hospital.

The consultation follows over two years of work by local doctors and nurses, NHS staff from Grantham Hospital, community and mental health services and NHS Lincolnshire, to look at what health services are needed in the area and at Grantham Hospital.

Chair of the South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Richard Gent said: “We have already received over 568 responses to our plans, thank you to those who have taken the time to share their views.”

“As part of this consultation we are not only consulting on two proposals to change children’s and midwifery services, but we are also setting out a number of improvements we are making which Grantham Hospital will benefit and thrive from.

“We want to keep the 24 hour A&E unit open and develop it into an A&E Care Centre with two new children’s bays and bring together the best of A&E consultants and Out of Hours doctors, supported by mental health, social care and end of life care teams.

“Also, we know that the Midwife Led Birthing Unit is highly regarded by local women and the choice of a midwife led birth is important. Unfortunately the unit is only supporting 100 births a year, that’s less than 2 births a week. As such, we are planning to invest in developing the same level of care at a larger hospital with an Obstetric Unit, effectively relocating the Midwife Unit to a hospital where a team of specialists are on hand, should any complications arise. All antenatal and postnatal care will remain at Grantham Hospital and there will be no changes to the home birth service.”

The Shaping Health for Mid Kesteven consultation document is available at local GP surgeries, Grantham Hospital and local authorities. Alternatively residents can respond online at http://www.lincolnshire.nhs.uk/en/Get-Involved/Surveys-and-Consultations/Current-Consultations/