A £21.3m boost for Pilgrim A&E unit welcomed

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (2nd left) and Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (left)  meet staff during a visit to Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire, to announce the government's NHS spending pledge of 1.8 billion. Photo: Darren Staples/PA Wire EMN-190813-133103001
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (2nd left) and Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (left) meet staff during a visit to Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire, to announce the government's NHS spending pledge of 1.8 billion. Photo: Darren Staples/PA Wire EMN-190813-133103001

Sleaford’s MP, Dr Caroline Johnson, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that a local A&E department is to get a £21.3m boost to expand services.

The new PM, Boris Johnson chose Pilgrim Hospital in Boston last week as the venue to make the announcement as part of funding upgrades to 20 UK hospitals.

Dr Johnson, herself a consultant paediatrician, welcomed the £21.3 million which will improve patient flow in the hospital which serves the Sleaford area, by developing urgent and emergency care zones in A&E.

She said: “As an NHS doctor myself, I know how welcome this will be for all of the staff at Pilgrim; they work incredibly hard to deliver excellent care, and deserve the best facilities possible to help them do so.

“There is a lot to do to further improve our NHS facilities, which is why I am delighted that this government is also going to bring forward a new Health Infrastructure Plan that will deliver a strategic major hospital rebuilding programme, so we have the necessary health infrastructure across the country for the years to come. I look forward to working with the Prime Minister and his ministerial team to deliver a bright future for our precious health service.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the hospital with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 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.

Matt Hancock MP said: “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.”

The new chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust Andrew Morgan, who took over last month, said he welcomed the extra £21 million, but added he would press for more.

Mr Morgan said: “I’m very clear as the accountable officer for this trust and chief executive in the health and social care system that my job is to bat for Lincolnshire.

“I want as big a share of the national cake as I can get my hands on and I will use MPs, county council and anyone else I can speak to to lobby for my share as I would see it of that national cake.

“I want this trust to be as outstanding as it can be.”

Drawing on 37 years worth of health service experience, he intends to improve staff morale and leadership and he believes the new funding announced can continue that.

Concerns over overcrowding and long waiting times led ULHT to submit a combined bid of around £100 million, which included plans to improve and expand Lincoln County Hospital A&E as well. Only a portion has so far been handed out for the Boston unit.

Mr Morgan added expansion should also help to retain and recruit staff by creating a “modern department”.

But the trust has also had to address Care Quality Concerns concerns over low satisfaction among staff.

Mr Morgan said: “The behaviours of leaders and managers in this organisation have to be such that bullying and harassment can have no place in this trust.”

He intended to see the trust exit special measures, for quality and financial, and noticeable improvement in staff surveys.