Centralisation of NHS care hot topic at debate in Skegness

Centralisation of health services was the hot topic at a debate held in Skegness on the NHS plans for Lincolnshire.

The debate was hosted last night by BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Rod Whiting at the Storehouse in North Parade.

The panel and the audience at the BBC Radio Lincolnshire Your NHS, Your Say debate in Skegness. ANL-170224-093523001

The panel and the audience at the BBC Radio Lincolnshire Your NHS, Your Say debate in Skegness. ANL-170224-093523001

A panel made of representatives of the different services, including three from the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust (ULHT), faced tough questions from the audience of invited guests.

Among them was Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman, who denied politicians were using health to gain votes.

Lincolnshire County Councillor Colin Davie told the panel he was against the centralisation of maternity care. He said: “A single maternity unit in Lincoln is not an option I could support. It would not be sensible.”

Agreeing with him was Boston mum Alison Marriott who told the Standard it had taken her more than an hour to get to Skegness.

She said: “I’m here for everyone. The timescale for treatment when someone has a heart attack, a stroke or is having a baby is completely different. They are using London as an example of how centralisation works but you can’t compare it with Lincolnshire. It took me more than an hour to get to Skegness at an average of 24mph. Add the daytime traffic and farm vehicles and it could take much longer and that could be critical to someone trying to get to Lincoln.”

Centralisation of stroke care was also a hot topic. Panellist Dr Richard Andrews said centralised stroke care in Lincolnshire would mean frail patients are not left far from home for long, explaining it would only be for the first two or three critical days, and then the patient would be transferred nearer home.

However Geoff Poulter, of Skegness Hospital Watch, remained unconvinced. He said afterwards: “I’m very disappointed about what I’ve heard tonight.

“The stroke unit in Boston is the third best in the country and they are going to take the doctors at the top of the tree away. It doesn’t make sense.”

*Watch the full debate on the Skegness Standard Facebook page.