Plea to ‘not let public money be wasted’

Boston's Pilgrim Hospital.  Photo by David Dawson.
Boston's Pilgrim Hospital. Photo by David Dawson.

A high-profile retired doctor has pleaded with people to ‘not let public money be wasted by Government’ in light of concerns over Pilgrim Hospital.

Dr Cyril Nyman, who worked at Pilgrim Hospital full-time from 1979 until 2008 and part-time until 2013, as well as carrying out charity work for the facility including setting up the Pilgrim Heart and Lung fund.

In a letter submitted to The Standard he praises the success of the hospital due to public support, but raised concerns over worries that some services could close and move to Lincoln.

In his letter, he writes: “If that is the case, this is exceedingly tragic and must be resisted.”

He later adds: “We cannot and must not let this progress any further. Millions of pounds of public money has been used for Pilgrim Hospital over the last 30 years, we must not let public money be wasted by Government.”

Dr Nyman has signed the petition by the Boston Focus Group’s SOS Pilgrim campaign called Stop United Lincs Hospitals Trust from downgrading Boston Pilgrim Hospital which has so far received more than 7,700 signatures.

The focus group’s SOS Pilgrim campaign follows more than three years of reviews into the county’s healthcare.

The Lincolnshire Health and Care (LHAC) review began in 2013 but its final outcomes have been delayed, most recently due to NHS England’s Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP).

The reviews aim to combat a potential combined budget deficit of £100m per year by 2018.

On Wednesday, a meeting at Woodhall Spa saw 150 people from across health and social care services look at proposals to transform health and social care services in Lincolnshire.

According to a spokesman for LHAC, discussions covered emergency care, women’s and children’s, planned operations, care in the community and mental health.

The meeting was closed to press and public, however, members of the Boston Focus Group attended in protest and in an attempt to speak to those gathered.

Campaigner Phillip Bosworth told The Standard that many medical staff ‘stopped and supported wholeheartedly with like-minded sentiments’.

He said there was ‘wide concern’ at the delays, and worries over, ‘the distance dangers, lack of costing and detail, lack of impact studies’

The spokesman for LHAC called the meeting a ‘critical point’ as the health community came close to ‘finalising options’ for public consultation.

They said: “The emerging ideas and next steps were well-supported by those attending.”

They said public and staff views will be be sought over the next few months.

The work will also inform the submission of a 5 year plan to NHS England in the summer.

They added: “No decisions have yet been made and any options put forward to the public must be clinically safe.”

To sign the petition visit here.