Trust in charge of Pilgrim Hospital to stay in ‘special measures’ after inspection

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston. ENGEMN00120130504093848
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston. ENGEMN00120130504093848

The trust in charge of Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital will stay in ‘special measures’ after inspectors found it still requires improvement.

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, recommends United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust should remain under the special status for another six months in his report which is released today.

The CQC report praised staff in Boston as ‘caring, kind and compassionate’ but says there are not enough of them in A&E, paediatrics, medicine and palliative care and ‘improvements’ were needed to meet the four-hour A&E waiting time target.

The trust was placed into special measures a year ago by Sir Bruce Keogh, following an inspection after concerns were raised about mortality rates and standards of care.

In October trust bosses had said they hoped to be out of ‘special measures’ by the spring.

Under its new inspection model, CQC has given individual ratings to each of the core services at the trust’s hospitals, accident and emergency (A&E), medical care (including older people’s care), surgery, critical care, maternity and family planning, services for children and young people, end of life care, and outpatients.

Pilgrim Hospital was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ overall, following the inspection which took place on May 1 and 2 this year.

The Pilgrim was rated as ‘Good’ for end of life care and outpatients and got a ‘Good’ rating for its critical care services.

All other services inspected were rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ and the overall rating for the trust as a whole is ‘Requires Improvement’.

The trust was rated as ‘Good’ with regard to whether services were caring.

Inspectors were concerned that some processes were not being embedded across the trust and recruitment of staff is a problem, with a number of vacancies at Pilgrim Hospital.

The trust has been told that it must make improvements to ensure that:

• There is an accurate record of each person’s care and treatment.

• There are sufficient staff to meet the needs of patients receiving treatment.

• Equipment and the environment is adequately maintained to ensure the safety of patients.

• Staff are appropriately trained and receive supervision.

• Processes for the safe prescribing, recording and administration of medications are maintained.

• There are appropriate governance processes to learn from incidents, so that patients are protected from the risk of harm.

Inspectors found services across the trust were caring, and rated these as Good. Nursing staff were seen to be caring and compassionate and staff were seen to be committed and proud to work for the trust.

Patients were also found to be supportive of the trust.

Inspectors also found outstanding practice in the intensive care unit where there were separate areas for male and female patients, which allowed people to maintain their privacy and dignity.

Additionally, patients who had complained about their care were used in the recruitment and selection of new staff.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: “I recognise the leadership team at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been working hard over the last year to make improvements.

“While we saw definite evidence of improvement, the trust still has some way to go before it reaches the required standard.

“In particular, medical staff need to be better engaged in improving service quality and better integration of clinical services between the hospital sites is needed.

“That is why I have recommended to the Trust Development Authority that the trust remains in special measures for a further six months. I hope that, in six-month’s time, the trust will be able to demonstrate enough improvement to review this again.

“People deserve to be treated in services which are safe, caring, effective, well-led, and responsive to their needs. We will continue to monitor the trust closely and this will include further inspections.”

Full reports for the trust and each of its hospitals can be found on CQC’s website: