Scrutiny Panel wants ‘evidence and reassurance’ over Louth Hospital bed reduction plan

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Councillors have called on health bosses to provide evidence and ‘reassurance’ that a permanent closure of a number of beds at Louth Hospital will work.

Lincolnshire East CCG has proposed two options on the future of Manby and Carlton wards at the site.

Lincolnshire County Council headquarters in Lincoln.

Lincolnshire County Council headquarters in Lincoln.

More than half of beds were cut on both wards from 50 to 16 after fire inspectors found problems with the fabric in the building.

Neither of the options by the CCG propose returning the beds to their original capacity.

Now, members of the Health Scrutiny Panel at Lincolnshire County Council have asked for evidence to support the reduction.

The committee supported the second option, which would see 20 beds on Carlton ward and six chairs on Manby for day treatment.

Councillor Carl Macey, chair of the health scrutiny panel, said that the committee want ‘assurances’ that the plan will work.

“We want some assurances on option two, because we would like to see that option progressed,” he said.

“However we want to see that GPs and health workers are there to support this plan.

“We know that people are better in their own homes than on spending time on hospital wards and in hospital beds.

“But if they have not got that support in place, we are concerned that there might be some re-admittances and there will not be the beds that would cope with it.”

Councillor Macey added that he wants the CCG to bring the evidence to the committee so that councillors can be ‘reassured’ that the plan will work.

But campaigners have said that they do not want to ‘maintain’ beds as they are at the hospital and want them returned to full capacity.

In a consultation, the CCG said that the measures outlined are ‘cost-effective’ and are designed to last until a long term plan is found.

It said: “Our vision is to provide lasting security for Louth as a centre for innovative healthcare for local people.

“The current state of the hospital buildings means that the options we outline below for the wards are a cost-effective means of delivering services whilst we develop plans with local people for the long-term future of a Louth community hospital.”