COLUMN: It’s time for our councillors to stand up for the people they serve and support our hospital services


Boston Standard deputy editor Andrew Brookes explains why the Save Our Services campaign is turning to Lincolnshire County Council for help...

Thank you. So far you have already sent in more than 200 coupons in support of our campaign to save our hospital services. The coupon is printed again today and we will present these to United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.

The campaign does not end there, however. Today, we have launched an online petition in a bid to force Lincolnshire County Council to discuss our NHS. We want the people who represent us all at County Hall to debate this vital matter in public and we want them, following in the footsteps of East Lindsey district and Coningsby town councils, to pass a motion expressing opposition to a cutback in services for the Pilgrim Hospital.

Why the county council? Isn’t this a matter simply for the NHS? We could just sit and wait I suppose.

The problem is that we know NHS bosses are working on their plans now (or have probably worked on them already and are waiting to publish the details soon). We feel, and believe our readers do too, that cuts to a hospital that is getting busier and requires people to travel significant distances to it already, would be a huge blow to this area.

That’s where the county council comes in. This isn’t just a Boston issue. Cutting services at the Pilgrim affects the whole of the massive geographic area it serves and has a knock-on effect for patients using Lincoln County Hospital – which has had to plead with people not to come to it unneccesarily because it is too busy.

The county council handled the library consultation abysmally and many in this area feel it doesn’t treat Boston too well either (how many bypasses elsewhere before we get one?).

It has a chance to redeem itself. It can debate the threat to our hospital services. It can make the case to protect what we have – which is already scarcely enough – and it can stand up, not only for the people of Boston, but for the whole of Lincolnshire.

That would send a pretty powerful message to NHS bosses as they prepares their plans, and to the Government.

It may be an election year but this isn’t about the colour of your party rosette. We want a united front and a safe future for us all.