Council secures further answers from health bosses as consultation on moving services from Scunthorpe launched

Council News
15:36, Wednesday, 4th October 2023

The council’s Health and Wellbeing Board – chaired by council leader Rob Waltham – has secured commitments for further detail from health bosses about proposals to take some services out of Scunthorpe.

Health leaders say the current proposals are designed to improve the quality of care and reduce the time taken for patients to see certain specialists.

To accommodate the plans, some services currently delivered from both Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals would be centralised to Grimsby only.

Cllr Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “It is simply not good enough to just say that money is a driving factor – funding for the NHS has never been greater and taxpayers’ quite rightly demand high-quality local health services.

“Improving patient care has to be the number one priority and we have told health bosses they need to focus on outcomes – the people of Scunthorpe and the surrounding area should get the best possible healthcare.

“Where there is a need for specialisms having a single site – and if better care can be assured – then the support mechanism for people accessing that care need to be in place.”

The calls come after senior officers from health services across the area attended the Health and Wellbeing Board on Monday.

Health bosses agreed to bring further details to the next meeting, setting out details for:

• a new elective clinical hub in North Lincolnshire
• a joint, integrated workforce plan
• further details on community investment proposals
• detailed views from primary care professionals
• detailed plans for investment at Scunthorpe General Hospital
• how existing sites – such as the Ironstone Centre – will be used more effectively
• what the ambulance service plans are to accommodate the proposed changes
• travel plans for patients
• and exactly what the inpatient paediatric care plans are.

The asks come after health bosses launched a public consultation, inviting residents to share their thoughts on proposed changes to the way some services are provided across Scunthorpe General Hospital and Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby.

The 14-week consultation is being led by NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) – the proposals seek to provide some services solely from Diana Princess of Wales Hospital rather than across, as is now the case, both hospitals.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) and the ICB say this will “improve services for those with the most urgent and complex needs, keeping them safe and of high quality in the long term.”

The proposal being put forward relate to a trauma unit, overnight emergency surgery, specialists teams for heart, lung and stomach conditions and paediatric overnight care for children and young people who need to stay in hospital for more than 24 hours.

A final decision will be taken by the ICB Board in 2024.

Three drop-in consultation sessions will be held; the first in Goole on 12 October, the second in Grimsby on 16 October and finally in Scunthorpe on 20 October.

People can also visit the consultation website at www.betterhospitalshumber.nhs.uk to find out more about the proposal, full details of the consultation events and provide their feedback.