A new 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre has opened in a Lincolnshire town to replace the hospital’s A&E department. Work has been underway since 2016 to create the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) in Grantham, which opened to patients on Tuesday, October 31, 2023.
From 2016, the A&E department at Grantham Hospital was only open from 8am to 6.30pm each day as a result of severe staffing challenges, which made an overnight service unsafe. Following a 12-week consultation led by the Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board and feedback received from the public, it was agreed that Grantham residents and those in surrounding areas need a 24 hour urgent care service.
Patients can now walk in to the new UTC 24 hours a day and access bookable appointments available 24 hours per day via 111. The urgent care service can treat conditions which are not critical or life threatening such as sprains and strains, suspected broken limbs and feverish in adults and children.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Chief Operating Officer, Michelle Harris said: “We are pleased to be able to restore a 24 hour service to Grantham and District Hospital. This new service will be an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) which is equipped to see and treat the vast majority of patients who would previously have been seen in the A&E Department at the site.
“Due to the limitations of the hospital’s size, staffing and available support services, the A&E at Grantham has only been able to treat a limited number of patients for a number of years, with those suffering from serious trauma, heart attacks, strokes and paediatric emergencies being directed to other hospitals for specialist care.”
She added: “The service offered at the new UTC will be very similar, and will be delivered by a skilled range of doctors, GPs, practitioners and nursing staff, many of whom have worked in the A&E at Grantham for many years. It will also be an ‘enhanced’ UTC compared to others in the county, offering additional diagnostic capabilities and enhanced staffing, which we believe will safely serve the people of Grantham and the surrounding areas.”
Medical Director for Lincolnshire ICB, Sunil Hindocha, said: “We’re pleased that the decision taken following public consultation on this service is now being implemented, giving people local to Grantham the 24/7 access to urgent and emergency care services they told us was so important in their feedback.”
The UTC will also provide access to X-ray, CT and MRI scanners and will be backed up with a new integrated community and acute medical service provided jointly with Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS). Clinical assessment and stabilisation will be undertaken for any patients who need to be transferred onward to other hospitals for their care.