Watchdog calls for multi agency solution at A&E

Pilgrim Hospital, in Boston. EMN-181227-121452001
Pilgrim Hospital, in Boston. EMN-181227-121452001

A leading heath watchdog is calling for a multi agency approach to overcome serious issues at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital.

In the build-up to Christmas, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) produced a damning report on standards at the hospital’s A&E department.

Inspectors from the CQC found a catalogue of failings.

Healthwatch Lincolnshire says it is concerned for patient safety in the department which is widely used by residents in the Horncastle and Coningsby areas.

Healthwatch adds that while it recognises that increased patient demand and staffing numbers significantly impact on the department, there are factors which need to be addressed by what it described as ‘the whole health and care system both in Lincolnshire and nationally.’

Sarah Fletcher, Chief Executive Officer of Healthwatch Lincolnshire, said: “On behalf of Healthwatch and more importantly patients needing to use this service in Lincolnshire, we hope that the entire NHS, social care and other leaders including our MPs all pull together to support United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust in turning around Pilgrim Hospital’s Emergency Department as this is such a vital resource for people living in East Lincolnshire.”

Ms Fletcher said patients could ‘do their bit to help’ because a significant number of people were using the Emergency Department when they could preferably seek support from other health services including minor injury units and GPs.

She added: “We would urge residents to consider if their problem is a real ‘here and now’ emergency or something that they could seek help from other services and wait a few days.

“However, anyone who is experiencing what they believe to be a health emergency should always telephone 999”.

Healthwatch Lincolnshire says it is particularly concerned by a number of features in the CQC report including the fact staff are under extreme pressure which could lead to errors.

Healthwatch actually recommends that in an emergency, people should considering using other hospitals including Lincoln, King’s Lynn, Peterborough, Leicester, Nottingham, Grimsby or Hull, rather than Pilgrim.

However, Healthwatch recognises that many of these alternative hospitals are also facing their own overcrowding and pressures.

• Healthwatch Lincolnshire is interested in hearing from anyone who has current patient experiences of Pilgrim or Lincoln Hospitals Emergency Department. Phone 01205 820892 or email info@healthwatchlincolnshire.co.uk

•The full report can be read by downloading it from the CQC website.