High hopes are born from new investment in Pilgrim Hospital

ULHT Director of estates Paul Boocock with maternity ward sisters Rowena Smalley and Beverly Pearson and gynaecology ward sister Michelle Cauldwell.
ULHT Director of estates Paul Boocock with maternity ward sisters Rowena Smalley and Beverly Pearson and gynaecology ward sister Michelle Cauldwell.
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Pilgrim Hospital’s share of a £25 million development will be used to modernise women’s services at the hospital – increasing dignity for patients and efficiency and health and safety for staff.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, which runs the site in Boston, last week announced a new contract with Kier to deliver works to three of its hospitals.

The Pilgrim’s maternity and gynaecology wards will be getting new ‘multi-purpose clinical accommodation’ – which will also be able to be used by other services in the hospital.

Director of estates Paul Boocock told the Spalding Guardian that the works form the first phase of improvements on the site – which was built in the 1960s-70s.

He said: “This is part of our site rationalisation, where we have an aging part of the estate that we need to address and, by investing this way we can get new facilities and move the services that are in the existing building into improved facilities that will benefit staff and patients.”

Some wards will include two or three beds and en suite bathrooms, meaning patients won’t have to cross corridors to use the toilet.

The most exciting part for us is that we’re going to be able to provide state-of-the-art facilities

Ward sister Beverly Pearson

Beverly Pearson, a ward sister who was part of drawing up the plans originally, said: “The most exciting part for us is that we’re going to be able to provide state-of-the-art facilities.

“It’s going to be an environment that’s light, bright, airy with space and up-to-date facilities, lots of showers – things that are going to make peoples’ stay with us comfortable and more enjoyable.”

There will also be improvements to electrical facilities such as more plugs at appropriate heights so that modern electrical equipment can be safely, quickly and more easily plugged in.

It is also hoped this could help attract and retain more staff at the hospital as well as patients.

Gynaecology ward sister Michelle Caudwell added: “We want people to choose to come here.”

No reassurance on service future

Despite the development, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust could not confirm whether the maternity services would be safe under a review taking place this year.

When asked how the development affected any review into savings needed to be made Mr Boocock said this and the review, organised by a Lincolnshire Health and Care Review Team, were two separate matters.

The review is set to go out to consultation later this year, however, Mr Boocock could not say whether the development would ensure the future of services at Pilgrim, or even strengthen the argument for them.

A spokesman for ULHT said: “That review is going to consultation later this year and there is a long list of options.

“This development is because that building needed work doing to it and we can’t wait forever for that work to be done.”

They added that ULHT would not be making the final decisions and none had been made adding “we’re just doing what we need to do”.

Last year, health and care organisations in Lincolnshire launched the review after revealing they could have a combined budget deficit of £365 million per year in the next five years if they did nothing.