I, and I hope many others, will support the campaign Save Our Services at Pilgrim Hospital.
I attended the most recent meeting in Boston of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on April 29 expecting to meet Sir Bruce Keogh (responsible for the national review into urgent and emergency services) but after a similar meeting that day in Lincoln he had to cancel his scheduled
attendance in Boston to be sent to Coventry!
We hoped that this was not a snub as he was able to attend a similar meeting in Grantham.
At the meeting in April we were asked for feedback on the progress or otherwise, of the United Lincolnshire
Hospital Trust’s (ULHT) reforms that were necessary for it to be no longer categorised as a NHS Trust in ‘Special Measures’, particularly as they concerned Pilgrim Hospital. Both members of the Trust and members of the public were present.
We replied that progress had been made on recruiting new nursing staff and there was generally positive feedback from those present who were recent patients at the Pilgrim.
One issue that those from Boston and Skegness raised was the fear that both A&E and maternity might either be downgraded or removed from Pilgrim Hospital altogether to Lincoln County Hospital with the at times horrendous traffic problems on roads connecting Boston with elsewhere. The consultant at our table agreed. He was critical of the time it took him to reach Boston from Lincoln and the road going south to Spalding from Boston. I pointed out if they were to remove or downgrade A&E and maternity at Pilgrim, they would have at times to use air ambulances to take patients to the County Hospital in
There is a mantra that ULHT officials use “doing nothing is not an option”. I do not believe that the people of Boston and others who use the Pilgrim living in Spalding, Skegness or Horncastle are suggesting that sensible reform is not necessary, if only to make the Trust rated soon as ‘Satisfactory’ and in time ‘Good’.
As your paper points out we do not want to be kept in the dark, so we hope that the
experienced non-executive director of the Trust responsible for the oversight of Pilgrim, Tim Staniland (Bostonian born and bred) will accept your pledge “to maintain the current level of service in Boston including A & E and maternity”.
As the Boston and Skegness constituency is currently politically in the national media spotlight and with the political parties selecting their candidates for the general election in May, we should make sure that those seeking to represent this ancient borough in Parliament will campaign to keep Pilgrim Hospital as second to none in the county.