‘Fighting 4 Life Lincolnshire’ joined forces with more than 100 bikers on Sunday (June 4) to show their gratitude to NHS staff across the county - while raising an important point about rural hospital services.
The bikers and campaigners, including those from the local ‘Fighting 4 Louth Hospital’ campaign group, presented a large tub of biscuits to staff at the Urgent Care Centre at Louth County Hospital to show their appreciation for their hard work.
The bikers travelled across the county, delivering biscuits to frontline staff at the hospitals along the way - from Grantham, to Boston, to Skegness, and to Louth, before heading to Lincoln.
In addition to showing their gratitude to staff, the campaigners and bikers aimed to demonstrate the vast rural distances between the county’s hospitals and highlight the importance of retaining them, in light of the risk of potential closure of some hospital services.
The Lincolnshire’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), published by Lincolnshire Health and Care last December, raised fears over the long-term future of Louth’s hospital.
The STP document makes reference to the need for ‘re-provision of community facilities at Louth and Skegness with single site’, leading to concerns that Louth’s Hospital could end up being closed in favour of Skegness hospital, or a new hospital sited elsewhere. A ‘full public consultation’ has been promised ahead of any final decision.
Sarah Stock, a nurse and recovering cancer patient from Sleaford, was one of the main organisers of the county-wide event on Sunday.
Sarah said: “Today is about celebrating the fact we have Urgent Care Centres and A&E centres with hardworking staff in them. It’s just a big thank you to the emergency services and emergency staff that are working on the front line, saving people’s lives.
“It’s all been received very well. It’s a celebration of staff and campaign groups working together and being there for each other.”
Sarah added: “The rural county of Lincolnshire needs all its services. The distances and the A- and B-roads that we’ve had to travel on today really highlight the issues within our county.”
Bikers and campaigners collected cash donations for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance along their route.