Former GP: “I’d be terrified of going to Pilgrim Hospital”

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

A former GP has critcised the quality of service at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, saying there is a complete lack of care and dignity for patients.

The retired doctor said she actively avoided receiving treatment at the Sibsey Road hospital – instead travelling many miles to hospitals out of the area – following several bad experiences at the site.

She told The Standard she would be ‘terrified’ if she had to use the hospital in an emergency, because the necessary care was simply not in place.

The doctor, who asked not to be identified, said: “There is a complete lack of care, dignity and respect, especially for elderly and disabled people.”

Since developing severe arthritis a number of years ago, the doctor said she has not been prepared to undergo surgery at the Pilgrim, but has been forced to attend in emergency situations.

Recently, following an operation at another hospital, the doctor had to go to Pilgrim after having problems.

She said despite complaining constantly of being in severe pain, she was given no treatment and sent home.

When she wrote to complain about her treatment, she was told she was pain free when she left the hospital and had been asked whether or not she wanted to stay in the hospital. This had not been the case, the former doctor said.

On another occasion, she claimed she was left alone in a recovery room for a long period of time after a painful procedure, and the transport arrived so late to take her home that she missed her carer, meaning she did not have lunch or dinner.

She wrote to United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), which runs the site, on both occasions, and each time the body apologised for any problems.

The former doctor said: “I have no desire to go to that hospital again. I am terrified to go there again. I would not feel safe.

“How can you be made to feel better when you feel unwanted and uncared for?”

She added that when she was a practising GP, she would often advise people to go to other hospitals if they were able.

“They are just paying lip service to care and dignity,”she said.

But a spokesman for ULHT said: “Every member of staff within the Trust is expected to uphold our dignity pledges, which set out the quality and dignity of care that patients can expect. Patients and visitors are encouraged to challenge staff if they feel the pledges are not being upheld in any area.”