A petition has been launched in a bid to force Lincolnshire county councillors to debate the threat of cuts to our hospital services.
As part of the Standard’s Save Our Services campaign we have set up an e-petition to call for Lincolnshire County Council to pass a motion against cuts.
The county council has a health scrutiny committee but members of this would only be able to discuss planned cuts once the details have been revealed.
According to the county council’s rules, petitions with 1,750 signatures can be referred to the relevant overview and scrutiny committee, where a chief officer could be called to give evidence.
Those petitions with 3,500 signatures could trigger a debate at full council.
The petition asks for the motion to express opposition to any cuts to Boston Pilgrim Hospital.
It adds: “This would follow the lead of East Lindsey District Council and send a strong message that patients cannot afford to have a lesser service at what is already an underfunded hospital.
“Simply waiting for the NHS to publish details of its planned cuts is not good enough.
“We need to stand firm and send a clear message that services cannot be cut - it would be intolerable for the people of Boston and add yet more pressure onto the services for the people of Lincoln.
“Politicians are currently making the case for ‘fairer funding’ for Boston - including our NHS services.
“To make cuts to a hospital that is getting busier, while this case is still being made, would be perverse.
“We feel our county representatives need to make a stand and make it clear to the NHS on behalf of the people they represent.”
The petition can be signed by visiting http://epetitionslincolnshire.firmstep.com/ and clicking on ‘Call for a motion to oppose hospital cuts’.
It runs alongside the coupons printed each week in The Standard - which will be presented separately to United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
The campaign comes after hospital trust bosses warned that the NHS as a whole in Lincolnshire is facing a £365 million deficit.
Last week we reported that there are just four A&E specialists employed across Lincolnshire - with bosses warning that attracting and keeping top staff is tough.
Boston borough councillor Carol Taylor feels the best way to cure the Pilgrim’s issues is to build a brand new hospital in Boston and make it a training centre that would attractthe top medical talent.
Writing on her blog, she said: “The hospital would be a huge teaching hospital which generates more income from the government and allows doctors/surgeons the opportunity to develop their forward thinking ideas.”
She added: “We need this calibre of medical, nursing and therapy staff to turn Lincolnshire into a health care system where everyone wants to be part of.”