Northern Lincolnshire hospitals proposal approved by NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board

A revised proposal to change the way some hospital services are provided in northern Lincolnshire has been approved by NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB).

Last year the local NHS set out how it would go about changing a small number of more complex medical, urgent and emergency care services in Scunthorpe and Grimsby to “meet the needs of patients across the region now and in the future, as well as tackling a range of challenges faced by the NHS in our region”.

Thousands of people took part in a 14-week public consultation, which received a “good practice” endorsement from The Consultation Institute. Following the consultation, the local NHS made some changes to the proposal that was initially put forward.

Today’s decision at a meeting of the ICB Board (Wednesday 10 July) means the care of trauma patients will be consolidated at Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby, together with some medical specialities for people with heart, lung or stomach conditions who require a longer stay in hospital (more than three days).

However, a proposed change that would have seen overnight paediatric care consolidated in Grimsby did not form part of the final recommendations to the ICB Board and inpatient beds will be retained at both Diana Princess of Wales Hospital and Scunthorpe General Hospital.

Additionally, not all overnight emergency surgery will be moved to Grimsby, with consolidation taking place at different hospitals across northern Lincolnshire and Hull depending on the medical specialty.

The changes – once implemented – would mean around seven patients per day would be transferred from Scunthorpe to Grimsby for their care. The majority of people living in northern Lincolnshire will continue to access hospital care and treatment as they do at the moment.

The local NHS says the proposed changes will help deliver “seven-day consultant-led care” across specialist services, improve the quality of care patients receive and reduce length of hospital stays, whilst making it easier to recruit and retain expert clinical staff.

The ICB’s Executive Director of Clinical and Professional, Dr Nigel Wells, said: “The challenges within the NHS are many and complex and we know for a lot of people the NHS is not working as well as they would like.

“Today’s decision will put hospital services like trauma and overnight emergency surgery on a much more sustainable footing and will mean there is seven-day consultant-led care and improved clinical outcomes for people living in northern Lincolnshire.

“The decision also means we can improve efficiency through consolidation of specialist teams and equipment and provide a more attractive working environment which is really important if we are to improve staff recruitment and retention. “We recognise this decision won’t be universally popular, but given the challenges we face in the NHS, I’m in no doubt it’s the right decision.”