Lincolnshire hospitals are starting a 12-week public consultation on the future of their nuclear medicine services currently provided at Grantham Hospital
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has launched a 12-week public consultation on the future of its nuclear medicine service.
Nuclear medicine is a specialized imaging technique involving the administration of radioactive substances (called radiopharmaceuticals) in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
There are over 20 different tests that nuclear medicine can perform and they look at conditions as diverse as Parkinson’s disease or delayed gastric emptying.
At United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) hospitals, the most common tests are bone scans and heart scans.
The service is currently provided from three hospitals in Lincolnshire: Lincoln County Hospital, Grantham and District Hospital and Pilgrim Hospital, Boston. The service sees about 2,500 patients a year for very specialized tests.
The service has long faced challenges related to staffing, aging equipment and sustainability, and so it was deemed unsustainable in its current format.
On February 28, a consultation was launched on the options identified to reduce the number of hospital sites from which the service could be provided in the future. These options were developed by hospital clinicians and shaped by patient representatives.
The options are:
- Option 1: Centralize service at Lincoln
- Option 2: Centralization of service at two sites – Lincoln and Pilgrim
ULHT’s Head of Nuclear Medicine, Laura White, said: “Our nuclear medicine service is a very specialized offering that requires highly trained technicians and scientists to perform tests on patients.
“At the moment, our resources are very scattered across the county, which makes the service both inefficient and also introduces a high risk of appointment cancellations for patients.
“While we know that centralizing our service to one or two hospital sites instead of three may mean that some patients have to travel further afield for their tests, we believe this is the best option to ensure a sustainable and efficient service. for the future.
“We also believe that better use of our resources will mean that we can invest in and explore more nuclear medicine treatments in Lincolnshire in the future. Which should mean more patients can be treated in Lincolnshire rather than having to travel outside the county for some tests.”
The public consultation will continue until Monday, May 23.
Lincolnshire staff, patients and the public are being asked to give their input as part of this consultation, before a decision is made on the future of the service later this year.
To participate, please see the consultation page.
Comments may also be provided by complete the online survey or by participating in virtual consultation events on Microsoft Teams, details below: