August 6, 2019 1.35 pm This story is over 28 months old

Hospital staff accused of ‘acting unprofessionally’ with Prime Minister selfies

A Healthwatch representative said the PM’s visit had been “like a pop concert”

Hospital bosses have defended staff accused of acting unprofessionally after they were shown taking selfies with the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson visited Boston yesterday (Monday) to announce £1.8 billion of investments across 20 hospitals, including £21.3 million towards a defined “urgent and emergency care zone” for Pilgrim Hospital.

During a United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust board meeting today (Tuesday) John Baines, the representative for Healthwatch Lincolnshire, said he thought staff, who had appeared on local media taking photos of themselves with the PM had “treated him like a rockstar”.

“I felt it was not very professional to see staff taking selfies like it was a pop concert,” he said.

However, board chairman Elaine Bayliss said she felt the event had boosted staff morale – something which, she acknowledge, had been recognised as being down in a recent CQC report.

There had been no objection from the Prime Minister himself, she added.

“I think there’s a balance to be struck, and there’s no-way we would have wrested those mobile phones away from staff.”

The money the Prime Minister announced yesterday is hoped to “improve patient wait times and the flow of patients in and out of the department.”

United Lincolnshire Hospital’s Trust Chief Executive Andrew Morgan. Photo: Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

ULHT’s Chief Executive Andrew Morgan acknowledged that the £21.3 million, was a bid that had been previously rejected by the Department of Health, but had been “resurrected” in the latest announcement.

He added that he had also managed to get Mr Johnson to agree to some other funding, however, added: “It’s one of those things where you ask the Prime Minister a question, he says “yes” but you can see the Secretary of State grimace in the background because he knows its coming out of his budget.”

Mr Morgan said he had raised staffing levels with the PM and Health Minister Matt Hancock, who he said had been “shocked” by the staffing difficulties he had faced.

He said the improvements “should help” to improve staff recruitment and retention by providing larger, and more up-to-date facilities to entice them, but vowed to continue to continue making the case for all hospital sites.

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