Bosses aim to get Pilgrim Hospital out of special measures by the spring

Pilgrim Hospital
Pilgrim Hospital

Pilgrim Hospital aims to get out of special measures by spring 2014 – but bosses have declared they need to ‘up the pace’ if this is to be achieved.

The message from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the site, comes after the latest damning report from the Care Quality Commission and the fallout of the Keogh Review.

Trust chief executive Jane Lewington told a press conference yesterday (Tuesday), that 100 milestones had been completed out of a total of 261 set by the trust. Those targets came from the 57 recommendations announced in July as part of the Keogh Review.

She said, however, that the Trust would need to ‘up the pace’ if it was to hit the next review deadline in 2014.

She told The Standard: “I think it really demonstrates some good progress but I’m not underestimating how much more we’ve actually got to deliver as an organisation.”

She added: “It’s only if we do well in that inspection that the Pilgrim will be taken out of special measures along with Lincoln and Grantham.”

She explained the trust has several initiatives underway to find out how to improve.They include bosses visiting wards, an examination of mortality rates and looking at how staff concerns are dealt with.

She described staffing at Pilgrim Hospital as ‘more of a challenge’ compared to other sites as it struggles to attract staff. Boston may be the most reliant on the trust’s current overseas recruitment drive.

£4.2 million is being invested in staffing across the trust and Ms Lewington said they were looking into various solutions, including contracts which cover all sites.

The Keogh Review was launched after the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal and the resulting report from inspectors led to health minister Jeremy Hunt placing our trust in ‘special measures’.

The trust’s target to get out of that status was announced alongside news of a major new service to try to speed up care for patients at the Pilgrim,

Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) will provide urgent same day treatment for patients, so that they don’t have to be admitted to hospital if it can be avoided.

Patients with certain symptoms who arrive via A&E or are sent by their GP will be fast tracked for assessment and appropriate tests by the acute medical team, enabling them to be treated quickly and sent home.

The trust says that will free up hospital beds and ease the strain on A&E in the busy winter months.

Some of the cases to be covered by the new AEC service include mild asthma, falls, suspected blood clots, chest pains and skin infections.

Trials of the six-bed £250,0000 unit saw two thirds of patients seen able to go home the same day.

Dr Akin Falayajo, Consultant Physician in Acute Medicine at Pilgrim, said: “Ambulatory Emergency Care is better for the right selection of patients, better for our staff who are pleased to provide improved care, and therefore better for the NHS as a whole.

“The safety of our patients is at the core of what we do. That is why we will only discharge those whose assessments have confirmed that their clinical condition does not require hospital admission.

“This is a significant development for healthcare in Boston. No one wants to be in hospital if they don’t have to be.”