Johnson Community Hospital.

Upgrade on the cards for hospital?

Spalding’s Johnson Hospital could be upgraded to an Urgent Treatment Centre and South Holland residents are being urged to back the idea.

The hospital is currently designated a Minor Injury Unit but, along with sites at Gainsborough and Stamford, is “being proposed or considered as an Urgent Treatment Centre” according to a report to Lincolnshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee on the NHS’s Health Conversation 2019 consultation.

In November it was reported to the committee that the Johnson Hospital could be downgraded to a ‘GP Extended Access Hub’.

But instead, following representations, including from Health Scrutiny committee member Coun Chris Brewis, it is now being considered to be turned into an Urgent Treatment Centre.

The committee report says: “Compared to an A&E, Urgent Treatment Centres are typically GP-led.

“They will be accessible at least twelve hours per day, 365 days per year offering appointments that can be booked through NHS 111 or via a GP referral.

“Urgent Treatment Centres will be equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common ailments people attend A&E for despite not requiring acute hospital services.

“As such, Urgent Treatment Centres are designed to ease pressure on hospitals allowing Emergency Departments to treat the most serious cases.”

The centre would accommodate both pre-booked and walk-in appointments, the report continues.

Coun Brewis said of the potential upgrade: “It would be better than the services we currently have and would be able to deal with more serious incidents.

“We need an Urgent Treatment Centre in Spalding rather than have to go to Peterborough, King’s Lynn or Boston for so many procedures that could be done at the Johnson.

“It’s the kind of purpose that the Johnson Hospital is built for.”

Coun Brewis is hoping the public can respond to the consultation and show support for an upgrade to services at the hospital, particularly at a consultation event taking place in Spalding next month.

The Healthy Conversation roadshow is at the Spalding United Reformed Church from 2pm to 7pm on Thursday, June 13.

“I encourage as many people to go along and give their views.

“If we can show there’s unanimous support for a better Johnson Hospital locally the more chance we have of the proposals being in the final plan for services going forward.

“This is our chance for the public to influence that final report.”

A spokesman for the NHS, said: “This year, we want to hear more from our patients, staff and public to help us continue to transform to improve quality, attract staff and be fit for the future.

“Your thoughts, views and feedback are vitally important to us.”

You can also engage with the Healthy Conversation 2019 online.

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