Hospital trust ‘on the cusp’ of coming out of special measures

Boston Pilgrim Hospital. ENGANL00120131112162248 ENGANL00120131112162248
Boston Pilgrim Hospital. ENGANL00120131112162248 ENGANL00120131112162248

The trust behind Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital is to stay in ‘special measures’ for a further six months - but the boss of the organisation has promised it is ‘on the cusp’ of being ‘good’.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust was given the status 12 months ago after concerns were raised about mortality rates and care standards.

On Thursday, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its latest report on the trust, rating it as ‘requires improvement’ and saying it should stay in ‘special measures’ for six months more with a review coming in due course.

CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals Prof Sir Mike Richards said: “I recognise the leadership team at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been working hard over the last year to make improvements. While we saw definite evidence of improvement, the trust still has some way to go before it reaches the required standard.”

Among inspectors’ concerns – following visits in May – were that some processes were not being ‘embedded’ across the trust and recruitment of staff was a challenge, with a number of vacancies at Pilgrim Hospital.

They did note, however, mortality rates are now within expected levels.

Jane Lewington, chief executive of the trust, said: “We and all our staff are disappointed to have not come out of special measures. But what is really important is that due to the hard work and commitment from all our staff in just 10 months, we have made big improvements to the quality and safety of our care.”

Pilgrim Hospital was rated as ‘requires improvement’ overall, but received ‘good’ verdicts for critical care, end of life care and outpatients.

Mrs Lewington said the hospital was ‘on the cusp’ of being rated as ‘good’ overall and said townspeople should take heart from the report.

She said: “They should be very pleased they have got a hospital like Pilgrim that is making the progress it is.”

She added: “The narrative around what the inspection team found at Pilgrim would lift anyone’s heart, particularly around the caring nature of staff, the extra mile staff will go and the absolute focus on quality and safety.”