Campaign to give patients a voice on NHS

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

A campaign has been launched to give people the chance to share their experience of Lincolnshire’s hospitals with those carrying out a review into patient death rates.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, which runs hospitals including Boston’s Pilgrim, is one of 14 across the country to be reviewed by a team led by NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh.

The review follows the mid-Staffordshire hospitals scandal in which hundreds of patients died due to poor standards of care.

Although there are no exact figures of how many patients may have died needlessly in Lincolnshire’s hospital, recently released figures do show there have been a total of 12 “never events” at the trust in the past four years (see below).

Now Folkingham-based businessman Jan Hansen has launched Cure the Lincolnshire NHS campaign.

Jan said: “There have been complaints that the public do not know how to contact the team who will be carrying out the safety review in Lincolnshire and that is why we have launched this organisation now.

“It is backed up by a website where the public can leave their comments.

“We will take these comments on board and try to make sure they are taken into account in the review.

“The aim is to improve patients’ safety and care within the NHS and share our experiences to help and influence others.”

Mr Keogh, who is leading the review, has said he wants to “help write a prescription” for hospitals in Lincolnshire to improve.

Teams will be visiting hospitals next month and the full report into United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust is expected to be published by mid-July.

He said: “I am determined these reviews should be about identifying solutions to any problems that may exist.

“I am interested in not just providing a diagnosis, but helping to write the prescription and provide support to these hospitals to help them improve.

“A higher than expected mortality rate does not in itself tell us that a hospital is unsafe.”

Mr Hansen said most people receive “excellent” care from dedicated NHS staff in Lincolnshire, but added: “It is quite clear that Lincolnshire’s NHS remains under pressure and is grossly underfunded and this puts huge strains on our front line staff and makes it diffcult for them to provide the quality of care they would like.

“We want people to share these experiences with us, the good and the bad, as it is the only way we can campaign effectively to support our staff working in the NHS.”

Cure the NHS Lincolnshire can be contacted at www.cureNHSLincolnshire.org or by emailing info@cureNHSLincs.org.uk