Two life-saving diagnostic machines, funded by the community, will be in use at Skegness Hospital next month, with a third hoped to arrive by Easter.
Skegness Hospital Watch has welcomed the announcement, which comes more than a year after it donated £42,000 for the machines, raised through months of relentless charity work.
Matron Jackie Shaw has apologised for the delays, which she attributed to the machines being a new technology for the local service, requiring extensive calibration and staff training.
Speaking to the group at Skegness Hospital this morning, she said: “We do have to apologise for the delays, we know how frustrating it has been and we could not have got this far without your funding.”
When in use, the equipment will help medical staff in Skegness determine whether a patient requires acute care at Boston Pilgrim, or can be treated locally.
This is hoped to reduce unnecessary anxiety for patients and ease the burden on the stretched ambulance service.
Mrs Shaw said: “We hope this will be quicker and more efficient for patients and our staff.”
A chemical analysis machine, which provides information on the functioning of major organs such as the liver and kidneys, is already at the hospital, staff have been trained and once testing is complete the equipment will be ready to use.
A haematology machine, providing blood analysis, is due for delivered on Wednesday, January 30, with training and testing scheduled for the following week.
And the third machine, which has been subject to the longest delays, will test whether a patient is showing signs of having recently suffered a cardiac arrest.
Mrs Shaw is hopeful this will arrive before Easter but was unable to give such categorical assurances as for the other two items of equipment.
In a statement written before the meeting, she said: “We are facing a delay over the data needed for the third cardiac marker machine and all progress is being monitored closely via the North East Clinical Governance and Risk Forum, which is a group set up to review and monitor safety standard within the business unit.”
Hospital Watch chairman Maureen Mier thanked Mrs Shaw for her work with the group but expressed concerns about the third machine’s delayed arrival and the information other NHS staff had provided on the mater.
She said: “I think we were falsely led to say that we would be up and running by December but it’s good news that we will be able to have it all in place by Easter.”