‘Major concerns’ at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital after another probe


‘MAJOR concerns’ about standards of care at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital have been outlined in the latest report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

This follows several investigations into allegations of abuse and neglect by United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT).

The report, published on Thursday, highlights major concerns with essential standards relating to the care and welfare of people who use its services and of meeting nutritional needs.

A spokesman for CQC said: “As a result of all of these issues CQC is now investigating what systems and procedures are in place at the trust to ensure people are protected against the risk of inappropriate or unsafe care and treatment.”

Following an earlier inspection in February, CQC ordered the trust to make improvements but ‘was not satisfied with the speed with which the trust responded, or with the trust’s ability to proactively identify and address problems’.

There are also several safeguarding investigations currently in progress relating to abuse and neglect allegations at the trust, states the CQC.

As reported in The Standard on June 8, one investigation involves allegations of patient mistreatment which has resulted in a member of being suspended.

CQC says it is working closely with the police and local authority on the investigations which involve speaking to patients, relatives and staff, observing the care delivered by the trust and the gathering of evidence.

Andrea Gordon, CQC’s regional director for the East Midlands, said: “While ULHT has already taken some action in relation to issues we highlighted; we’re concerned the trust had not recognised these itself or acted upon them with more urgency.

“The CQC has launched this investigation to determine whether the correct procedures are in place at the trust to pick up problems and make changes quickly so people receive safe and appropriate care. If they are not, we will require the trust to make improvements.”

LINCOLNSHIRE United Hospitals NHS Trust - which runs Pilgrim Hospital - has apologised for the standards of care but said it has been left ‘deepedly upset’ by the CQC’s latest report.

A spokesman told The Standard: “We fully accept the CQC’s findings and are deeply upset by them. We have worked very hard to address all the issues raised by the CQC in March and they have recognised we have made good progress. We will fully cooperate with the investigation.”

ULHT stresses it strives to provide the best possible care for patients and will work with the CQC to ensure this is the case.

“It is clear that our services have not been of the standard we expect to see and we apologise unreservedly for that.” added the spokesman.

Measures already put in place include structured hourly care rounds, more questions asked by nurses about a patients comfort and needs, refresher staff training and a new management structure to enable them to ‘identify and address issues as quickly as possible’.