East Midlands MEP Margot Parker has expressed her concerns following the news United Lincolnshire Hospital NHS Trust is considering reducing A&E opening hours at Grantham and District Hospital.
Mrs Parker said: “I understand the great efforts the Trust has gone to while trying to deal with staff shortages, and while I can see why they are considering the drastic step of closing the Grantham Hospital A&E at night it is obviously not a desirable step for them to take.
“A&E departments are under severe strain all over the country, but especially so in Lincolnshire which have seen high levels of immigration, and are stretched beyond the limit simply due to this drastic and rapid increase in demand.
Mrs Parker sees the problem with demand causing issues beyond the A&E: “The situation is not helped by GP shortages and over-subscription at GP surgeries (again, often immigration-lead), leading to long waiting times for non-emergency appointments.
"When people have to wait several weeks before being able to see a GP they sometimes go to an A&E just to avoid the delay; or they ignore a problem which ends up being an entirely avoidable emergency. Both situations increase A&E demand.
“The strain in the system leads to burn-out of both hospital staff and GPs, which, as the Trust has shown, is not always solvable through investment and incentives – the Trust has done its best to get more staff in place but just cannot attract or retain sufficient numbers of adequately trained emergency medicine specialised doctors.
“Post-Brexit, we will be able to control immigration numbers and therefore plan and secure health provision to an acceptable level. We will also have the money to invest further in the NHS – in the UKIP 2015 manifesto we pledged to invest billions in the NHS, funded by the savings made by leaving the EU - we call upon the government to do the same.”