Health trust that runs Pilgrim Hospital in special measures

Pilgrim Hospital at Boston.
Pilgrim Hospital at Boston.
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The health trust that runs Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital has been placed in special measures because it is millions in debt.

A director will be appointed by NHS Improvement (NHSI) to oversee a recovery programme at United Lincolnshire NHS Hospitals Trust (ULHT), which also runs Grantham District Hospital and Lincoln County Hospital.

ULHT is predicting a total deficit of £75million by next April and has already overspent by £30.7million since April.

ULHT deputy chief executive Kevin Turner said: “The first quarter results show the extent of the financial challenge facing the NHS at the moment. However our own financial position has deteriorated this year, compared with last, to a point that we face one of the biggest financial challenges in the NHS.

“We therefore welcome the additional support from NHSI to help us to tackle our deficit and move towards a sustainable position for our services.

“Work is already underway on our financial recovery plan and this week we have appointed external partners to work with us over the next ten weeks to identify where and how we can make some immediate savings and to set out plans for the future.

“NHS Improvement will now appoint a director to support us to develop our plan and this will enhance the work already started with our external partners.

“We know that there are many factors which are causing the deficit, which include a lot of our services being less efficient than they could be, staffing gaps that are routinely filled with more expensive temporary (agency) staff, and the challenges of providing services over a large geographical area. Our recovery plans will need to address these factors and more.

“Patient safety remains our top priority and our intention is to ensure that this will be maintained or improved at the same time as reducing cost.”

• Financial special measures were introduced by NHS England and NHSI to help Trusts facing the biggest financial challenges – those facing significant and unsustainable deficits – improve their financial performance.

NHSI will appoint a director who will work with ULHT to oversee the development of a robust financial recovery plan.