Louth Town Council ‘to call on the government to prevent hospital downgrade’

The Sessions House in Eastgate is the home of Louth Town Council.
The Sessions House in Eastgate is the home of Louth Town Council.

Louth Town Council will hold an extraordinary meeting next week, with councillors expected to call on the government to prevent the loss of patient beds at Louth County Hospital and ‘fund the NHS adequately’ so there is no threat of ‘downgrading

Councillors will consider the motion, put forward by Coun Ros Jackson, on Tuesday evening (October 9) from 7pm.

On the latest town council agenda, Coun Jackson’s motion asks councillors to note:

A) The Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has consulted on changing the provision at Louth County Hospital on Manby and Carlton wards, and the options are between 16 beds plus six chairs, or 20 beds plus six chairs.

• B) East Lindsey’s Local Plan mandates minimum house building for Louth of 1,204 homes, and an overall district-wide housing requirement of 7,819 homes for the period 2017-2031. This growing local population will need increasing health infrastructure and jobs.

• C) The significant transport difficulties due to East Lindsey’s rurality, and the burden placed on residents who will have to travel further when hospital provision is reduced, with particular focus on the negative effect on vulnerable and/or economically-disadvantaged residents,

• D) The diminished resources available to neighbouring health trusts and for care in the community.

The motion goes on to ask for town councillors to resolve to:

• A) Recognise that the reduction from 50 beds and Manby and Carlton wards to 20 or 16 is a downgrade in local hospital provision that won’t be sufficiently mitigated by the proposed changes to neighbourhood working.

• B) Call on the Government and the Louth & Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins to prevent the loss of these beds, and to fund the NHS adequately so that Louth Hospital is under no threat of downgrading.

• C) Communicate our deep concerns about the downgrading of provision at the hospital to Lincolnshire East CCG and to the County Council.

The following day, at ELDC’s Full Council meeting, Coun George Horton will put forward a motion (seconded by Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders) asking fellow district councillors to support the fight to maintain the number of patient beds and ‘essential services’ at the hospital.

The motion states: “With our increasingly elderly population coupled with the impact of rural poverty and deprivation, our struggling ambulance provision, the lack of public transport and our adopted District Plan giving rise to the building of thousands of new homes within East Lindsey, I am asking councillors to support our motion to require East Lincolnshire CCG to maintain the number of beds and essential services at Louth Hospital.”

• Victoria Atkins MP will hold a public meeting on the hospital’s future this Friday. Click here for details.