Press Release: Grantham A&E
Police officers will be taken off the streets and will waste hours transporting suspects to hospital as a result of the closure of Grantham’s A&E at night, according to the county’s police and crime commissioner.
PCC Marc Jones says the decision by hospital chiefs to close the hospital’s A&E department will have huge implications for the town’s policing and was taken without any consultation with the force.
Mr Jones says the need to transport suspects all the way to Lincoln will mean the loss of up to 60 hours of officers’ time a week – the equivalent of two officers permanently off the beat.
In addition, Mr Jones is concerned there will be an increase in the number of times police are required to transport an injured person to hospital because of a worsening ambulance delays.
The effects on overstretched resources taking people to Lincoln hospital are:
- If a suspect has been injured or needs medical assistance before they arrive at a police station, two officers will need to take them to hospital – three hours commitment.
- If a suspect already in custody needs medical assistance that only a hospital can provide it will take one officer three hours
- If a police officer is injured it will mean a three hours’ commitment for the injured officer and will likely require another officer to support and/or transport them
- The police currently transport some injured people to hospital due to ambulance backlogs at hospitals and this could get worse.
“The closure of Grantham A&E overnight will have a significant impact on already stretched policing resources. This will, without any doubt, cause officers to be off the streets for significant periods of time,” he said.
“On average the Grantham station is sending one person every single night to hospital, and during the weekends that can be as high as two or three times. With each incident taking two officers off the streets for three hours each this puts huge pressure on policing.
“All of this takes officers away from their important duties of protecting the people of the town. The police are too often used by other agencies to fill gaps in their own provision and, although always willing, the police cannot continue to take up more and more slack that others leave.
“I’m particularly concerned that this decision has been taken without any consultation with the police.”
Mr Jones says he will be contacting Lincolnshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee and the ULHT to voice his concerns.