PM Boris Johnson promises major investment in Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (second left) and Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (left)  meet staff during a visit to Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, to announce the government's NHS spending pledge of 1.8 billion. Picture: Darren Staples/PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (second left) and Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (left) meet staff during a visit to Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, to announce the government's NHS spending pledge of 1.8 billion. Picture: Darren Staples/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a major £21m investment in the A&E department at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital on a visit today.

The Prime Minister toured Pilgrim Hospital and met staff after announcing plans to upgrade 20 hospitals around the country with a £1.8 billion cash boost for the NHS.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson chats with Ambulance crews during a visit to Pilgrim Hospital to announce the government's NHS spending pledge of 1.8 billion. Picture: Darren Staples/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson chats with Ambulance crews during a visit to Pilgrim Hospital to announce the government's NHS spending pledge of 1.8 billion. Picture: Darren Staples/PA Wire

He announced plans to spend £21.3 million to improve patient flow in Boston by developing urgent and emergency care zones in A&E.

He said: “I am very pleased to be here at the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston where we are putting some money into the A&E.

“It’s part of a national programme that the NHS asked for and I want to stress this is new money.

“I said, I think 10 days ago on the steps of Downing Street, that we would be upgrading 20 hospitals, 20 new hospital upgrades around the country - and this is it.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets staff during a visit to Pilgrim Hospital to announce the government's NHS spending pledge of 1.8 billion.  Picture: Darren Staples/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets staff during a visit to Pilgrim Hospital to announce the government's NHS spending pledge of 1.8 billion. Picture: Darren Staples/PA Wire

“So we are starting here in Boston with £21 million going into the A&E and that really helps expand the space they have in the A&E - it gives them a better chance of moving patients through, stopping them blocking beds and so on, and it is much desired by the clinicians and the staff here so I’m very pleased that we are doing it.”

Speaking about how the new investment would help staff shortages in the NHS, Mr Johnson said: “That’s why it’s so vital we are putting another £1.8 billion of new money, £800 million of that going on various projects, a billion of capital, but that’s on top of the £34 billion we are putting into the NHS.

“But of course, the lion’s share of that will go on staffing - on attracting, retaining and professionally developing the staff in the NHS.

“I’ve made it my mission to ensure that people across the country do get to see their GP in time, do get through A&E in a reasonable time, and that’s why it’s vital to invest now.”

He was joined on the visit by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Boston MP Matt Warman. They met with patients and staff, including new Chief Executive Andrew Morgan, as they toured the site including the emergency department.

They heard how the money will help with a move towards defined urgent and emergency ‘care zones’ in an attempt to improve patient wait times and the flow of patients in and out of the department. This will allow patients needing emergency treatment to be seen and treated quicker.

The investment was announced by the Department of Health this week as part of a capital funding increase for hospitals across the country to go towards improving the experience of patients in emergency departments.

Matt Hancock MP said: “Today we are announcing funding for a new expanded A&E facility at the Pilgrim hospital. My grandmother worked at Pilgrim on night shifts all of her working life as a nurse and it is fantastic to be able to put £20million extra into making sure the A&E in Boston is the best it can possibly be to improve patient flow and to reduce waiting times.”

Chief Executive for ULHT, Andrew Morgan, said: “We are delighted that Pilgrim hospital has been awarded this new funding.

“We are continuously working to improve our busy emergency departments and this investment will allow us to make changes we’ve not previously been able to, in turn relieving pressure across our hospital site.

“These improvements to the department mean we will be able to direct patients when they arrive, so they can receive the most appropriate care.

“We hope that this development will help us to see and treat patients more quickly and ensure that everyone is getting the right level of care that they require.”

Mr Hancock added: “The economy is growing strongly and, ultimately, all public services, the long list you gave, and of course the biggest amongst them is the NHS, they are paid for by having a strong economy.

“There is a record number of people in work at the moment, that means a record number of people paying income tax, a record low number of people who are claiming unemployment, so that gives you more money.”

He added: “That money is now, and that money for the NHS is flowing in in this year, it is immediate. We’ve got the 20 upgrades where the shovels can go in the ground.”