‘Being negative about the Pilgrim Hospital will not help’

Boston Pilgrim Hospital.
Boston Pilgrim Hospital.

A senior union official has called for people to stop being negative about Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital – after more damning headlines.

Last week the results of an NHS staff survey were revealed which appeared to question our doctors’ trust in the services they run.

It showed just 40 per cent of staff at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust – which runs the Pilgrim – agree or strongly agree with the statement: ‘If a friend or relative needed treatment I would be happy with the standard of care provided by this organisation’. Only North Cumbria University Hospitals has a lower figure.

The news came after it was announced that the trust will be investigated for high death rates in light of the Mid Staffordshire scandal.

However, Roger Hancock, chairman of the south Lincolnshire branch of the Royal College of Nursing said the survey was only a snapshot from a proportion of staff and would not have necessarily been answered by many doctors or nurses.

He also pointed out that the data was trust-wide and not just centred on the Pilgrim.

Mr Hancock believes a stream of negative press surrounding the Sibsey Road hospital has undermined morale and called for the press and public to be more positive about the Pilgrim.

He said: “While ever we have bad press and low morale you will not attract staff and people’s opinions of the service they provide will be of a negative manner.

“With low morale and bad publicity staff will not come from city hospitals into a rural area.”

He said he has seen members of the public become aggressive with staff and feels some people go in to the hospital prepared for a negative experience after hearing bad things about it.

He said he would have no qualms in recommending the Pilgrim, adding: “From my personal point of view, having been in there before Christmas and last week, the care I received was second to none.

“I know of patients that have come from the south to be treated in Boston and one person in particular came from Northern Ireland to be treated in Boston.”

Mr Hancock says changes have been made to address the issues suffered by the Pilgrim.

A trust spokesman said many improvements had been carried out over the past year and that the survey results woould be used to look at what else can be done.