There are three main issues affecting the good people of Boston and surrounding villages, the impact of immigration locally, who will be our next MP and what is happening to our Pilgrim Hospital.
1) Immigration issues can only be fully addressed and changes made by central government. Nothing can be done at a local level.
2) Unfortunately, Boston is a prime target for prospective parliamentary candidates who are using us to further their own political careers.
3) The continuing concern over the future of our Pilgrim Hospital. The issue over the uncertainty surrounding A&E services at Pilgrim Hospital supersedes the importance of the previous two as the outcome will have lasting impact on the lives of local people and yet we are not being told what is happening or what plans are in place for our future health care.
This may often be answered by the United Hospitals NHS Trust (which runs the Pilgrim) saying that it is still at the consultation level and yet we all know that someone somewhere knows exactly what is going to happen. I expect that one of the many reasons for not keeping us informed is the impending General Elections in May 2015 and it’s potential to change the political stance of Lincolnshire? In business, goals are set and a system of objectives followed to achieve a goal. The NHS is no different.
“ The NHS belongs to the people”. (Page 2 the NHS constitution) it is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves. It continues by stating that “The system of responsibility and accountability for taking decisions in the NHS should be TRANSPARENT AND CLEAR TO THE PUBLIC, PATIENTS AND STAFF”. So why does United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust continue to keep us in the dark about its plans for the future of our A&E services at Pilgrim Hospital?
It is up to us as service users to stand up and fight for the future of Pilgrim Hospital before it is to late.
It is not just about A&E services, it is about the potential relocation of other clinical services.
Prior to the formation of ULHT, Pilgrim Hospital was a success story providing top quality services by a dedicated mutli-disciplinary team. Since joining Lincoln County Hospital we have become an unwanted appendage, a bit like Lincolnshire County Council treats Boston Borough Council, to be removed without any real consideration for the good people of Boston and surrounding areas.
We must not underestimate the power of public intervention and demand that openness and transparency is a key factor in keeping the public informed. Not only is it important to patients, but also to our dedicated staff who share the frustrations with their patients over the uncertain future of OUR PILGRIM HOSPITAL.
I am therefore appealing to the good people of Boston and surrounding areas to stand up and be counted and fight to retain not only the A&E services, but the future of the whole of Pilgrim Hospital.
After all, the NHS belongs to the people.