Grantham Journal leads hospital cuts protest

More than 5,000 people have protested against hospital cuts at a rally organised by the Grantham Journal.

The weekly has campaigned for a year against reductions in services at Grantham Hospital and has focused on the difficult situation faced by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.

In an effort to reduce its £2 milllion monthly overspend, the trust is being forced to downgrade its accident and emergency department at the hospital and axe more than 300 jobs. In Grantham, surgery, maternity and children's service jobs are at risk.

Journal editor Tim Robinson, Grantham MP Quentin Davies and Labour peer Giles Radice addressed the rally. Davies called for a radical reorganisation of the trust and Robinson led a delegation which included Grantham mayor John Wilks.

Robinson told trust chairman David Bowles: "We have just come from a rally where literally thousands of people came to show how strongly they feel about this.

"Those people and the people who write letters to the Grantham Journal every week are intensely concentrated on this and they don't want to see A&E downgraded regardless of the outcome of your review."

The future of the hospital will be the subject of public consultation next February.

Journal chef reporter Bob Hart, who co-ordinated the campaign and rally, has tried to persuade local businesses and rotary clubs to give more of their time and effort for free.

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