November 13, 2020 3.22 pm This story is over 36 months old

“Critical incident” at Lincolnshire hospitals over rise in COVID-19 cases

Situation compounded by staff shortage

A “critical incident” has been declared at Boston Pilgrim Hospital and Lincoln County Hospital due to the rise in COVID-19 cases requiring treatment.

Documents seen by reporters say the two United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust facilities are “currently operating at level 4 (our highest level of escalation)” with 159 COVID-19 patients.

It means they’re cancelling training, study leave and non-clinical time, as well as annual leave where possible.

All services at Pilgrim are set to be reduced and a rehabilitation ward planned for Grantham will be opened sooner than planned.

Bosses said the situation was affecting their ability to provide timely care.

“Many areas of our wards are either closed to new admissions or have restricted access, particularly at Pilgrim.

“This is compounded by critically low staffing levels across a number of the areas due to a lack of availability of colleagues due to a number of factors.

“This is having a major impact on flow through our hospitals and the situation is deteriorating.”

The trust will implement the following measures until Wednesday, November 18, at the earliest.

Here are the recommendations in full:

  • Enhanced incentives for additional hours, including bank
  • Extend the use of agency where possible for additional health care support workers
  • Establish a staffing hub to deal with the critical levels of staffing
  • Request mutual aid from system partners to support Pilgrim staffing
  • Cancel all training, study leave, non-clinical time (such as SPA)
  • All clinicians to be repurposed to review all patients with a score of 0 or 1 in order to discharge them home
  • Cancel where possible annual leave following discussions with line managers
  • Reducing all services at Pilgrim in order to support urgent and emergency care
  • Accelerate plans to cohort confirmed and query COVID-19 patients at Lincoln and Pilgrim
  • Review all outpatient activity
  • Accelerate the opening of the rehabilitation ward at Grantham
  • Identify additional staff to support ward cleaning and to support the transfer of patients
  • Enhance internal and external communications
  • Increase onsite weekend support, to include managerial and clinical leadership