Union: ‘We told them Pilgrim Hospital was understaffed years ago’

Pilgrim Hospital
Pilgrim Hospital

A union official says NHS bosses had been warned that staff levels were too low at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital – and fears the current Government scrutiny will not fix the problem.

Unison regional officer Peter Savage said he had raised fears of low staff numbers – one of the points highlighted by the CQC this week – years ago and said the constant stream of negative reports had created a ‘cyclical problem’.

He said: “In the rest of the country Lincolnshire, and the Pilgrim unfortunately in particular, has not developed the best of reputations. That’s probably undeserved for a large part but it has meant that if you are a young nurse or doctor looking for a job then Boston is not top of the list.”

He said he was aware of doctors and nurses who weren’t prepared to ‘admit’ to working at the Pilgrim because of the stigma surrounding the hospital – although felt that had eased a little over the past couple of years.

Mr Savage accused health minister Jeremy Hunt of ‘running down’ the NHS.

He said the investment in extra nurses was welcome but it remained to be seen if it was enough – particularly with cuts elsewhere to non-hospital health services.

He also questioned whether parachuting managers in from Sheffield would make any difference, adding: “There may be some superstar manager out there but if you put Jose Mourinho in charge of Boston United they are not going to win the European Cup are they?”