Death rates down at Pilgrim Hospital

Boston Pilgrim Hospital.
Boston Pilgrim Hospital.
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Senior doctors are making ward rounds seven days a week in a bid to drive mortality rates down at a hospital in special measures which serves residents of south Lincolnshire.

Three hundred nurses have also been recruited this year at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston as part of a £7 million recruitment drive over two years.

The fall in mortality rates at Pilgrim Hospital was revealed in the monthly report by United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT).

It also said the hospital is now “among the best in the country” for treating patients with hip fractures.

Pilgrim Hospital was placed in special measures last autumn and is expected to stay in them until the spring.

ULHT, which covers Pilgrim Hospital, was one of 14 trusts where a review was commissioned by the medical director for the NHS in England, Sir Bruce Keogh, because of higher than expected mortality rates in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Figures released ahead of the report suggested the trust as a whole had 1,531 deaths above the “expected mortality ratio” between 2006 and 2012.

The figure was the second highest of the 14 trusts under investigation.

ULHT was placed into special measures and required to take action on 57 recommendations by inspectors. The monthly review by ULHT reported on developments within the Keogh Review.

It also highlighted a “never event” – an incident which should never have happened – at Lincoln County Hospital, where a woman who gave birth was left with a surgical tampon stitched inside of her.

According to the ULHT report, the incident was the first of its kind in the last 14 months at the hospitals it runs.

A spokesman for Pilgrim Hospital said: “We have been implementing a mortality reduction plan for more than 12 months and are pleased with the results we have seen so far in 2013-14.

“However we are not complacent and continue to focus our efforts on reducing our mortality rates.

“We have introduced daily ward rounds by senior doctors, including weekends, and are moving to a new way of working over seven-days-a-week, which has already been introduced in areas such as stroke services where we have performed well.”

More thorough risk assessments for patients have been introduced and there has been a nursing recruitment drive in the UK and abroad.

The spokesman said: “Over the last year we have introduced more thorough risk assessments for patients, which result in detailed care plans tailored to individual needs.

“We have committed £7million to a nursing recruitment drive over two years and have already recruited 300 nurses this year.

“We continue our campaign in the UK and abroad and are working with our training partners to ensure early engagement with final year nursing students about employment opportunities.

“We have made some achievements in reducing mortality, for example for patients with hip fractures, and Pilgrim Hospital is now among the best in the country.”