March 20, 2019 2.43 pm This story is over 39 months old

Health bosses seek funding to expand ‘overcrowded’ Boston A&E

Trust bosses said the A&E is not big enough

Hospital chiefs will look to secure funding to expand Boston Pilgrim Hospital’s A&E department following concerns of patient overcrowding.

Bosses United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said it is continuing talks with NHS England and NHS Improvement over capital funding to expand the department after they failed in a previous bid.

Directors at ULHT said processes put in place to reduce the amount of people in A&E have so far “not been able to resolve the issue”.

But the trust insisted emergency departments across the country were also under pressure.

Health inspectors raised concern about the A&E department in December 2018 and said they “remain concerned” about the unit.

Care Quality Commission officials found that patients were waiting more than three hours to be assessed and that children were “placed at the risk of harm”.

Trust bosses confirmed that a further unannounced visit by the CQC inspection took place in February 2019.

Neill Hepburn, medical director at ULHT, and Michelle Rhodes, director of nursing. Picture: Steve Smailes.

ULHT said a lack of access to primary care was partly to blame for the numbers of patients attending A&E.

But Michelle Rhodes, director of nursing at the trust, said ULHT was doing “lots of work in the department”.

“The big issue that remains is the overcrowding of the department,” she said.

“Although we are doing lots of work to reduce the patients that are coming in, it is not having the affect that we would want.”

A number of measures have been put in place in the department, including a GP streaming service and a frailty service to deal with older patients.

Boston Pilgrim Hospital. Photo: Google Street View

ULHT recently failed in bid to NHS England for capital funding to increase the size of Boston’s A&E.

But, Kevin Turner, deputy chief executive of the trust, said ULHT are continuing conversations with the organisation over the department.

“Bearing in mind that our A&E departments were designed many years ago based upon low demand, one of the factors we have at Pilgrim is that we probably need to expand the size of the department,” he said.

“We are looking to work with our colleagues in NHS England and NHS Improvement to put forward a case for additional financial resources to be able to do that.”

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