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4:13pm Wed Feb 27, 2013

AMBULANCE protocols are being addressed which, in the coming months, should mean more patients are taken to Newark Hospital. A commitment has also been given that more can be done at the town’s hospital.

It follows a visit to neighbouring Grantham Hospital by Dr Amanda Sullivan, the chief operating officer of the Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group, and the Newark MP Mr Patrick Mercer.

The idea was to see what services were offered there, and what could be achieved at Newark.

The change in ambulance protocols, revealed by Dr Sullivan, is long overdue, while the possibility of on-site chemotherapy treatment, which she said would be investigated, would be another step forward, not least for those requiring the treatment.

Dr Sullivan did, however, say Newark would not be able to offer the same level of critical care as Grantham, which has an accident and emergency unit.

Despite that, campaigners will continue to press for enhanced emergency care at Newark, and there is surely capacity for that.

A recent visitor to the unit, taken in the early hours of a Sunday morning by their wife, said they were the only people in there. How many patients are being taken to far-flung hospitals for relatively minor ailments?

People who are in a position to present themselves at Newark can do so, and wider scope for ambulance staff to take cases there should help keep patients closer to home.

The more patients who don’t have to travel or be transported miles away for treatment, the better.


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