Vital facilities at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital could be spared the axe - and it appears people power has played a key role in the process.
There is intense speculation the NHS Lincolnshire Trust is considering the future of Boston’s accident and emergency and maternity departments as part of a massive savings programme.
However, Colin Mair - the UKIP leader on Lincolnshire County Council - has revealed he understands any changes could be scaled back.
More than 300 readers of the Horncastle News - and it’s sister papers the Boston Standard and Sleaford Standard - have signed a petition opposing any closures.
Coun Mair, who represents the Tattershall Castle Ward, praised the newspapers for the campaign and said he thought readers had played a key part in any NHS plans to re-shape the future of the hospital.
Under the proposals, it has been claimed more patients would have to travel to Lincoln County Hospital.
However, Coun Mair said: “Everything I hear suggests the possible closure of departments appears to be less likely than two of three weeks ago.
“I’ve no doubt the NHS Trust has listened to what local people are saying.
“There has been an outcry - and rightly so. People want services in Boston. They don’t want to travel to the other side of the county.”
Coun Mair also said he had no doubt NHS officials had taken note of recent concern after A&E departments at Boston and Lincoln told patients to stay away - unless it was ‘an emergency.’
He added: “I know the Trust needs to save money but closing departments at a time when they are asking people to stay away just doesn’t make sense.”