'Spalding and South Holland people need Urgent Treatment Centre on their doorstep'
MP Sir John Hayes is spearheading a drive to persuade health bosses to site an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Spalding’s Johnson Community Hospital.
Backed by six leading councillors, including South Holland District Council leader Gary Porter and chairman Rodney Grocock, the MP expresses a wish for Spalding hospital services to "grow and develop".
UTCs are a new thing and so far they are earmarked for hospitals in Boston, Skegness, Louth and Lincoln - a fifth is in the pipeline for Stamford, which would be provided by an out of county health organisation.
In a letter to Lincolnshire Sustainability Parntership’s chief, John Turner, the MP and fellow signatories say: “On behalf of the people of South Holland, the local representatives listed here wish to register the strongest support for the continuation of the minor injuries unit at Johnson Community Hospital and our ambition to see the service there grow and develop.
"The six signatories to this letter also note that the Louth Hospital has been earmarked to become a 'super urgent treatment centre'.
"The Johnson Community Hospital is virtually brand new, it is far bigger than Louth's hospital and, in our opinion, should also be considered as super urgent treatment centre as soon as possible."
Other signatories to the letter are Couns Peter Coupland and Christine Lawton, both district council portfolio holders and county councillors, and district and county councillor Elizabeth Sneath.
Also backing the plea is county councillor Sue Woolley, the authority's executive member for NHS liaison and community engagement.
Sir John has already had assurances that the minor injuries unit will remain at the Spalding hospital, although it is being redesignated as a GP Extended Access Hub.
The MP and councillors point out that the main aim for UTCs is that people with urgent care needs can have "a more responsive service closer to home".
They say: "The Johnson Community Hospital healthcare site is highly regarded and well used by the residents of Spalding and the surrounding area. It is indeed a 'responsive service' close to home for numerous people we represent."