Minister impressed by Pilgrim Hospital

Official opening at Parkside Medical Centre.
Official opening at Parkside Medical Centre.

A health minister has voiced his confidence in Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, despite the challenges facing the trust in charge of it.

Dr Dan Poulter, parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department of Health, visited the Sibsey Road facility on Thursday (March 27) ahead of officially opening the town’s revamped Parkside Medical Centre that afternoon.

The trust behind the hospital, the United Lincolnshire Hospital NHS Trust, is currently in ‘special measures’ and is forecasting a £26m deficit this year.

However, Dr Poulter was full of praise following his visit to the facility’s maternity, stroke and intensive care units.

He said: “I was very impressed by the staff at the Pilgrim, their absolute focus of delivering high quality care.”

He added: “Whenever a trust is put into special measures that is a cause for an anxious time. What I was reassured about today is the quality of leadership among the medical staff and dedication of the doctors and nurses to doing the very best for patients.”

Concern had been raised that in light of the trust’s deficit, services may be cut at hospitals such as Boston’s and run from a central point for the county.

In response to this, Dr Poulter said: “There is always going to be a future for locally delivered health care.”

And when asked if he saw a future for Pilgrim Hospital, he said: “Very much so.”

Dr Poulter was joined by MP for Boston and Skegness Mark Simmonds, who said he wanted the minister to see not only the facilities on offer in Boston, but also the pressure on its health care system as a result of population change.

He said: “I know Dr Poulter is going to leave Boston with a very positive view but also an understanding that we do need additional resources to cope with a growing population.”