South Holland MP believes the £21.3million for Pilgrim's emergency services will secure the long-term future of the hospital
MP Sir John Hayes is welcoming a £21.3million investment in emergency services as an important step towards securing Pilgrim Hospital’s long-term future.
As reported in our sister paper, The Spalding Guardian, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock visited the Boston hospital last week as news of the investment was made public.
Sir John, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, told us: “It’s a big cash investment in a hospital which is critically important to our area.”
As some key services were centralised to Lincoln County Hospital last year, questions were asked about the Boston hospital’s future.
Last September Sir John and the Boston and Skegness MP, Matt Warman, joined a Stride with Pride march in Boston as hundreds of people showed support for the hospital.
The march was organised by SOS Pilgrim - Call to Action - who have also welcomed the investment in emergency services, although one described it as “a drop in the ocean” after years of under funding.
Sir John is optimistic and says: “This is a very re-assuring announcement because you don’t invest in a hospital you are going to run down.”
Campaigners stepped up their fight for Pilgrim services after the children’s ward was last year downgraded to an assessment unit with a maximum stay of 12 hours.
Maternity changes saw the hospital managing births of 34-plus weeks’ gestation, instead of 30.
Campaigner Alison Marriott says the changes led to the transfers of more than 200 children to other hospitals as well as increased transfers of premature babies both before and after birth.
Writing on the group’s Facebook page Alison said there is a plan to reduce numbers of children transferring and for the neonatal unit to accept babies from 32 weeks (gestation) but a long-term health plan still has an option of “centralising” to Lincoln.