Petition to stop Pilgrim Hospital being '˜downgraded' reaches 10,000 signature milestone

A petition calling on health authorities to stop downgrading Pilgrim Hospital is due to get a government response after reaching 10,000 signatures.

Boston's Pilgrim Hospital. Photo by David Dawson.

Organised by Boston Focus Group, which is running an SOS Pilgrim Hospital campaign in response to plans to save money across the county’s health services, the petition this morning (Friday), has 10,028 signatures - with 10,000 needed for a Government response and 100,000 needed for it to be discussed in Parliament.

Philip Bosworth, one of the organisers said: “We’re very pleased it’s got to 10,000 already. We’re hoping that we’ll get our website up soon and it’s hoped that will get even more.

“It will be interesting to see what the Government response will be and who will reply.”

The Focus Group launched the campaign earlier this year to oppose potential plans put to Lincolnshire Health And Care, who are reviewing services across the county, which suggested that certain maternity services could be moved to a single site at either Boston or Lincoln.

The petition description calls on ULHT to stop the downgrading, but organisers say it applies equally to the LHAC review.

Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman has also commented on the milestone, saying on his Facebook page: “Plans for the future of Lincolnshire healthcare haven’t been decided yet, and will rightly be led by clinicians.

“Nonetheless I’m pleased this petition has now reached the threshold for a government response that will I’m sure confirm the Department for Health’s absolute commitment to getting the very best deal for Lincolnshire.”

The Lincolnshire Sustainable Services Review began in 2013 and later became the Lincolnshire Health And Care (LHAC) review. Other reviews have also been carried out by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (which runs the Pilgrim) and others, and these are set to feed into the LHAC review. Options previously put forward included:

l One specialist emergency centre and one consolidated inpatient Women and Children’s Service located at Pilgrim Hospital

l One specialist emergency centre and one consolidated inpatient Women and Children’s Service located at Lincoln

l One specialist emergency centre at Pilgrim Hospital and Women and Children’s at both hospitals

l One specialist emergency centre at Lincoln and Women and Children’s at both hospitals.

It was said when the reviews began that doing nothing was ‘simply not an option’ and that by 2018 NHS health and care organisations in the county could have a combined budget deficit of upwards of £100m per year.

LHAC recently released it’s Case for Change report, which included sections on Maternity, Accident and Emergency and ‘centres of excellence’.

It is due to go for public consultation before the end of the year.