MP: ‘Problems at our hospitals were ‘hidden’ by past Government’

Mark Simmonnds
Mark Simmonnds

Boston’s MP accused the past Labour Government of hiding problems at our hospitals which led to them sliding into special measures.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust was placed in special measures this week by health secretary Jeremy Hunt following a review by Sir Bruce Keogh.

MP Mark Simmonds said: “It is disappointing that ULHT has been placed under special measures, especially given the hard work that staff have done, particularly at Pilgrim Hospital, to improve patient care.

“However, what is even more shocking is that the facts about these trusts were well known to ministers under the previous Government, and remained hidden from the public.

“Improvements cannot be made until the challenges have been recognised.”

His comments come after a heated exchange in the House of Commons on Tuesday between Mr Hunt and Andy Burnham, Labour former health secretary.

Mr Burnham vehemently denied criticism of his role and said he did act on concerns and that care had got worse under the coalition since 2010.

Mr Simmonds is lobbying the Government to try to win extra funding for the Pilgrim Hospital to cater with the borough’s increased population.

He said: “I met with Earl Howe, Minister at the Department of Health to discuss funding for healthcare services in Boston last week and have written to NHS England to highlight our growing population and lack of funding, which is placing increasing pressure both on primary care and Pilgrim Hospital.”

In May The Standard revealed how NHS bureaucrats turned down the chance for a major investment at the Pilgrim Hospital. Mr Simmonds had secured the support of then-health secretary Andrew Lansley to completely rebuild the maternity unit – but the strategic health authority chose not to apply for the cash.