‘Vulnerable’ patients could be moved out as Pilgrim Hospital struggles to cope with massive demand

Pilgrim Hospital. EMN-141021-133457001
Pilgrim Hospital. EMN-141021-133457001

Vulnerable patients at Pilgrim Hospital could face being moved elsewhere in the county as bosses take drastic action to deal with the current strain on services, it is understood.

Hospital sources have told The Standard that patients on the Rochford Unit - which deals with psychiatry for the elderly - are facing being moved to free up the unit.

It is understood the move is to make space, with the hospital on ‘black alert’ due to the sheer strain on services.

The alert reflects the highest level possible for how many patients it is currently having to treat.

According to United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, which runs the site, patients who will be moved into the ward will be ‘fit for medical discharge’ but with no-where else for them to go - for example they may need ‘community support’ or ‘a package of care in the community’ which isn’t ready for them.

They said the move is being organised along with the Lincolnshire Foundation Partnership Trust.

It is not clear why these patients will have to be moved when a 28 bed ward sits empty on level eight of the hospital. This ward, 8B, has been shut for 14 months, as revealed in this week’s Standard.

One source said: “Why are they moving the most vulnerable people to make way for patients when they have a ward that is not being used?”

The source added: “These are people that can’t stand up for themselves - they’re in familiar surroundings and now we’re going to move them away. To me it’s ridiculous.”

The Trust is set to announce a statement on the move later this afternoon - following a meeting of the two trusts involved to discuss the plans.