Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman has secured the Prime Minister’s assurances that “every effort” will be made to recruit doctors and protect children’s services at Pilgrim Hospital.
In Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Matt asked
“With a rising budget and a new medical school for Lincolnshire, this government has very clearly demonstrated its commitment to the NHS in Boston and Skegness. But there are short-term challenges recruiting paediatric staff to the paediatric ward. Can my Right Honourable Friend reassure my constituents and parents in my constituency that the decision to make a temporary closure has not yet been made, and that she will work with me to leave no stone unturned so the Trust, NHS England and NHS Improvement can work together to make sure that we recruit the doctors we need and this government is investing in?”
The Question follows recent local concerns about potential, temporary changes to children’s services at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, due to staffing challenges.
In response, Theresa May confirmed that no decision has yet been made on any changes to children’s services, and that the Government is supporting the NHS in Boston and Skegness. She said,
“Any decision taken by the Trust about the services available will of course be made to ensure that the provision of services is safe for patients”. The Prime Minister confirmed that “The Trust is continuing to try to recruit paediatricians to support the service. It wants to continue to provide paediatric services at Boston, and every effort will be made to ensure that that can continue.”
Matt later added,
“The best place for children to be treated is of course close to home, but the primary concern is to ensure that treatment is safe, which is why ULHT is considering the best options for children’s services at Pilgrim. I am pleased that the Prime Minister has confirmed the Government’s support for our local NHS, and that all efforts will be made to ensure that we can recruit the doctors we need to retain local children’s services. I will continue to work with ULHT in any way I can to help ensure the best possible outcome for local children. In the longer term, the forthcoming Lincolnshire medical school will make a real difference for years to come, but it is vital to address immediate recruitment challenges in the meantime.”