More medical school investments for United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

The new Lincolnshire Medical School which opened last week is set to bring further investment in the county’s hospitals.

United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust bosses will examine a series of options costing between £2.3 million and more than £10 million in a bid to deal with 80 extra students a year, who are due to start placements at Lincoln County and Boston Pilgrim from February, 2022 onwards.

Figures from ULHT predict the number of students on placements at the county’s hospitals will rise over the next five years by 66% – from 496 in 2019 to 988 in 2024.

This is on top of the around 170 trainee doctors on site such as those undertaking post-graduate education or overseas doctors taking UK qualifications.

Medical director Dr Neil Hepburn told board members that although facilities were “more or less” in place at Pilgrim and Grantham, in Lincoln they were “woefully short”.

“We do not have the facilities to teach the number of students coming through,” he said.

“It’s crucial for our reputation for our future that we deliver this.”

The trust already has £1.8 million from the Department of Health and Social Care, given to them in December 2018, to develop the facilities, but would have to find the reminder of the cash required.

Bosses will, in the coming months, submit a business case for the additional medical training facilities, with five options being explored.

The options in full are as follows:

Do nothing

Expansion of existing post-graduate centre at Lincoln and refurbishment of the education centre at Pilgrim at a cost of £2.3 million

Expansion of the undergraduate centre, by taking the existing finance department area, and the Nightingale Ward located directly below the finance department at Lincoln along with refurbishment of the Education Centre at the Pilgrim site. This would also cost £2.3 million.

Expansion of the existing undergraduate centre by taking the existing finance department area, and erecting an extension at Lincoln, along with refurbishment of the Education Centre at the Pilgrim site. Again this would cost £2.3 million

A new building located on the Lincoln site that would also accommodate the Research and Development function, and office accommodation for administrative staff. Refurbishment of the Education Centre at the Pilgrim site. This is the most expensive option at more than £10 million.