Boston

Boston temporary children’s and maternity services begin

A temporary hospital service for the children’s and maternity ward in Boston has started on Wednesday with short-term agency staff.

Severe staffing shortages were blamed for proposals that put the services at risk of temporary closure back in April.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said it did not have enough middle grade doctors to run the service full and safely.

Now the trust has managed to secure two extra private ambulances sooner than expected, the interim model is ready to be put in place.

This new operational model will be closely monitored over the next few weeks while the trust seeks more permanent staff members.

The advice being offered to patients is to call the non-emergency number 111 or visit a GP if a child is ill, and to only visit A&E when necessary.

But, the Trust say that pregnant women and carers with regular attending children should continue to access the hospital as usual.

The interim model will mean that some services will be slightly changed and some babies and children will be transferred to other sites.

The model will see:

  • Outpatient clinics continuing at Pilgrim
  • Pilgrim managing only low-risk neonatal births (above 34 weeks gestation)
  • A 24 hour children’s assessment and observation unit established on the children’s ward at Pilgrim, offering restricted periods of observation
  • Paediatric day surgery remaining at Pilgrim
  • Consultant-led maternity unit remaining at Pilgrim
  • 98% of current activity remaining at Pilgrim (the exceptions will be the transfer of small numbers of babies pre 34-weeks gestation or who require more intensive care and children needing more than 12 hours observation)

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust also apologised for any inconvenience that the new model has caused.