Pilgrim Hospital pharmacy put out to tender

Boston Pilgrim Hospital.
Boston Pilgrim Hospital.

A private company or charity could soon be running the pharmacy at the Pilgrim Hospital in a bid to bring the service up to scratch.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), which runs Boston’s hospital, says it is currently looking at the best way for the pharmacy to be run, inviting outside bodies to tender to take it on.

A spokesman told The Standard: “The pharmacy service requires significant investment in systems such as electronic prescribing, automated dispensing and upgrading of facilities.

“In order to provide the best possible service in an acceptable timeframe, alternative organisations including social enterprises, charities, other NHS Trusts or external companies have been invited to tender for the pharmacy service at ULHT. The trust is also supporting staff to assume responsibility for the service themselves, working with a third party.”

The spokesman said they expect the new pharmacy provider will keep on the current staff to run it.

A union official says hospital staff are suffering from low morale and fear ‘privatisation’ of services.

Unite regional officer Dave Roome said: “Its not just self interest that concerns my members but a belief that the service to the public will not be as good as it presently is, as any private company taking on a contract of this kind will naturally be aiming to make a profit for its shareholders.”

Mr Roome called for bosses to explore a way to work with another NHS trust to improve the service.