Pilgrim told it needs to improve

PILGRIM Hospital’s chief executive has said he is confident the facility is doing all it can to improve, following a damning report from the hospitals regulator.

Top boss Andrew North said he believed that most patients received the best possible service at the hospital, despite the Care Quality Commission (CQC) saying last week that more needs to be done to bring it up to standard.

The regulator, which carried out an investigation at the Spilsby Road sight following concerns over standards, has issued the hospital with a long list of recommendations it must follow or face further action.

Mr North, who has held the post at United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust since last August, said: “I am satisfied that the hospital is improving all the time. It’s much better than it was. I think we can be confident that the programme of work we have put in place shows in a very real way that we are dealing with things. The organisation we have is stable, consistent and has determination over time to improve. We have very clear evidence that this is happening.”

Mr North said he thought many of the hospital’s issues in the past have been caused by inconsistent management, but the team which is now in place is dedicated to making improvements.

He added: “It’s important to remember that many, many people receive a very good experience at Pilgrim. People can be reassured that the quality of standards is improving and the determination of the organisation and the executive team will take us where we need to be.”

When the CQC visited Pilgrim in February it found it to be failing to reach standards in a number of key areas, including areas of basic care. The body returned in May and found that although improvements had been made, there were still a number of issues which were so serious that they warranted the launch of an investigation.

The results of the investigation, which were released on Wednesday, showed patients were still being put at risk of poor quality care.

Concerns included issues over complaints and the investigation of serious incidents.

Andrea Gordon, regional director for the CQC in the East and West Midlands, said: “United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is making improvements. However, we are not satisfied yet that enough has been done to ensure the trust is compliant with the essential standards of quality and safety.

“Pilgrim Hospital remains under CQC’s scrutiny and we will be carrying out further unannounced inspections and reviewing information about the trust to assess its progress in bringing about real and sustainable improvement in patient care.”

Improvements made at the hospital since the investigation was launched include the introduction of hourly care rounds and more of a focus on making sure basic care standards are met. A new complaints system has also been introduced.

Boston MP Mark Simmonds said: “I have welcomed the CQC investigation into Pilgrim Hospital as I believe it is the first big step towards improved care for patients in Boston. Although the report clearly indicates that there is still work to be done, it also provides a clear route for improvement. Now that the report has been completed, Pilgrim Hospital can focus on raising standards and increasing the confidence of the local community.”

A spokesman for the CQC said there were a number of options for future action at the hospital if it continues to fall below standard. These could include further investigations, fines or the closure of services.

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