We forever have our eye on changes that MAY be made, as a result of reduction in services at Louth County Hospital. This week, changes to the emergency care of Urology patients at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby were scheduled to be in place by September 2017 at the latest. These changes basically mean that emergency urology patients will be treated at Scunthorpe Hospital, rather than Grimsby.
How does this affect us in Louth?
On paper, (or according to the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust web site), there are SIX (6) Urology Consultants within the Trust. That sounds great, until you discover that they are based at:
Lincoln County Hospital – 4
Boston Pilgrim Hospital – 1 (+ 1 shared with Grantham)
Grantham Hospital – 1 (shared with Boston)
So, although Louth County Hospital has a Urology department, and can perform scheduled and/or ongoing treatment, if you are in a life-threatening emergency, the chances are, you would be taken by ambulance to Grimsby, as that is the nearest hospital which can deal with such an emergency.
The distance to Grimsby is about 14 miles from Louth, and Scunthorpe and Boston are about equidistant – around 38 miles from Louth. That is almost 3 times the journey length, and given the conditions of roads in Lincolnshire, it’s not a comfortable ride. Especially if you are seriously ill.
Transfer ONE of the Consultants from Lincoln to be based at Louth. We then have our own fully functional Urology Consultant, department, nurses and auxiliary staff on site. Avoid sending emergency patients into other Trust’s hospitals, especially where they are struggling to provide SAFE care, by their own admission.
The above, only refers to EMERGENCY treatment.
WE SUPPORT OUR HOSPITAL AND STAFF!
We are not about being critical of the staff at Louth County Hospital, or the excellent work that they all do, often under extremely difficult circumstances. We simply want services to be returned and maintained in the town, as the hospital is a success, whereas many others have failed. We totally support the lifting of the 1% pay cap for ALL Emergency Service staff, and keeping the NHS a public institution.
Current situation at Louth County Hospital (From ULHT web site):
County Hospital, Louth
County Hospital, Louth offers theatre sessions for patients undergoing day case urological procedures and investigations as well as having a well-established urology department which covers treatments and investigations for patients with both benign and malignant urological problems.
The unit benefits from a dedicated team of clinicians and nurses. We have a clinical nurse specialist who is trained to perform cystoscopies, this has increased the number of patients we can see and reduced the length of wait for patients with suspected malignancy.
We have recently introduced the GYRUS TURP which has allowed us to treat an increasing number of local patients with prostate problems.
The average waiting time to be seen in the urology department is four weeks but can be sooner for more urgent cases. Our average waiting time for surgery is four weeks.