Gainsborough: Councillor is campaigning for better medical cover after GP out of hours are decreased

John Coupland Hospital, Gainsborough. (G951CE)
John Coupland Hospital, Gainsborough. (G951CE)

A town councillor is campaigning to improve the medical cover in Gainsborough.

Coun Liz Clews has started a petition to raise awareness of recent changes to medical cover. The petition states: “We the undersigned are dismayed that Gainsborough has had its out of hours GP services almost completely withdrawn and we are petitioning for a fair allocation of cover across Lincolnshire.”

Liz said: “Medical cover has been stripped in Gainsborough and is decreasing at a time the population in the town is increasing.

“Why in the last few months has the GP Out of Hours service stopped it’s weekend cover at John Coupland Hospital, while at the same time smaller towns like Louth and Stamford, have more than 12 hours both Saturday and Sunday.

“We only ever had four hours on a Saturday and four hours on a Sunday.”

“I, with the help from the public, am setting up a campaign and bringing it to the town council’s attention as a motion in February.”

Mayor of Gainsborough, Coun Matthew Boles, said: “In terms of the out of hours service at John Coupland Hospital, I can personally vouch for how valued and needed this is having used it with my young daughter without the need for a visit to Accident and Emerenecy which we are constantly advised not to do. This service, in my mind, must remain in Gainsborough and any proposal to cut it should be challenged in the strongest terms.”

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust said: “There has been a remodelling of the primary care out of hours service across Lincolnshire resulting in some changes at Gainsborough, previously patients could book an appointment within a single four hour slot on Saturdays and Sundays now there are alternative options.

“Patients can directly visit the Minor Injuries Unit between 8am and 6pm should they require treatment or advice. Another option is the Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service, a service with increased capacity that is fronted by a GP and experienced nurse practitioners, by calling 03339992554. Patients can still book face to face appointments with GPs, nurse practitioners and emergency care practitioners at their GP practices.

“The NHS 111 service is another option for patients that can offer health advice and direct patients to the service best suited for the treatment they are like to require. These changes maintain flexibility for patients and ensures the primary care out of hour’s service for Gainsborough offers the highest level of service possible. The changes to the service will be kept under review and be re-evaluated if demands on the service change.”