VIDEO: Health secretary praises staff for bringing Pilgrim Hospital out of special measures

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Health secretary Jeremy Hunt visited the town on Monday to speak to Conservative party members and health professionals.

He was accompanied by the Conservative Party’s General Election candidates for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman and Louth and Horncastle Victoria Atkins as part of a county tour which further took him to Skegness and Mablethorpe.

Jeremy Hunt visits Boston.

Jeremy Hunt visits Boston.

Speaking to The Standard at Boston County Club Mr Hunt said he was here to understand ‘some of the challenges of delivering healthcare in a relatively remote rural area’.

He said he hoped to give those attending ‘some hope and encouragement that we do have a good plan in place for resolving difficulties and challenges many people face’.

Of Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital he said: “It’s really encouraging that there has been a big turnaround in the quality of care provided by that trust.

“In the wake of Mid-Staffs, I was the health secretary who introduced the toughest inspection regime anywhere in the world and a new chief inspector of hospitals.

...after real effort particularly by the staff we’ve had a tremendous turnaround and I think that’s really encouraging

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt

“We then took the decision to put the trust into special measures but after real effort particularly by the staff we’ve had a tremendous turnaround and I think that’s really encouraging.”

He said the increase in staff morale had made a difference and that they had ‘done a fantastic job’ of getting behind the changes that were ‘necessary to start delivering higher standards of care’.

In response to concerns over the future of services such as the Accident and Emergency and Maternity Wards he said in the face of reviews that decisions would have to be taken by local doctors who know about the particular local pressures and concerns.

He added he believed people could look forward to ‘an improvement in the quality of services going forward’.

Speaking to the audience Mr Hunt praised the Government’s integrated services initiatives and community working programmes. He also praised David Cameron for setting aside £8 billion for the NHS to help deal with a £30 billion shortfall.

Questions to Mr Hunt covered stream-lining service commissioning, clarifying how young people fitted into a picture which seemed focussed on elderly care and more people living longer. Others asked about potential changes to training to allow those who didn’t necessarily have the qualifications to get involved or be registered in some way in order for them to be accountable.

Third sector organisations were also praised for the role they played.