Final decision made on children's services at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston

A final decision on paediatric services at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital has been reached today (Thursday)
Pilgrim Hospital in Boston.Pilgrim Hospital in Boston.
Pilgrim Hospital in Boston.

The Board of Lincolnshire ICB has today made a final decision on the future of the children’s (paediatric) service at Pilgrim Hospital following a recent 12-week public consultation.

After what it calls “overwhelmingly positive public feedback” that the current service model meets the needs of the local population, the decision was made to make this the permanent arrangement, providing security for patients, families and staff in Boston and the surrounding area.

This decision follows significant challenges in the paediatric service over a number of years, which resulted in temporarily reducing the service from a full children’s ward to a short-stay (12-hour) Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) in 2018.

An NHS Lincolnshire spokesperson said: “Now, five years on, improved staff recruitment and new ways of working have meant that that the hospital can offer a full Children’s Unit, which is an example of best practice, offering early assessment and enabling us to care for the majority of Boston-area children at the hospital.”

A public consultation was run between June 12 and September 4 this year asking whether this current model of care should be made permanent.

Director of Strategic Planning, Integration and Partnerships at Lincolnshire ICB, Pete Burnett, said: “We have reviewed the results of the public consultation, and we were pleased to see that there was overwhelming support for making this service model permanent. This means that there is renewed certainty about the provision of children’s care in the Boston area for the future.

“This is a real success story, as this service was really struggling five years ago, and through the efforts of teams at the hospital, supported by patients and families, we have managed to deliver a much improved service for people in the area.”

The current model of care is said to:

• Retain a rapid assessment and discharge profile

• Allow for patients to complete their full stay at Pilgrim hospital unless transfer is clinically necessary

• Deliver a reduced length of stay, which has resulted in very few children needing to transfer from the hospital, with the exception of those children following specific specialist pathways (which was always the case)

• Offer quick access to paediatric care for children accessing the Emergency Department

• It has high levels of family satisfaction and a low level of complaints.

• It has most recently been rated by the CQC as ‘Good’.