Boston

Boston children’s ward ‘crisis’ model cost £1.75m

Tackling the crisis at Boston Pilgrim’s children’s ward is to cost the trust which runs Lincolnshire’s hospitals £1.75 million.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said a full financial assessment has been made on the new model for the service until December 2018.

An “interim-model” has been in place at the paediatrics ward since August with a backup plan to move the service to Lincoln County Hospital should it fail.

The trust took the measure after putting the ward under review following severe staffing shortages.

Now, ULHT has revealed the cost of the plan for the first four months of operation.

But, bosses at the trust have said they expect to reduce the amount they pay for the model in the future.

Clive Brookes, project director fo paediatrics, women and children services at the trust, said: “This mainly includes staff costs, the provision of private ambulances and also the financial impact of patients being treated elsewhere.

“Looking ahead the costs should reduce as we improve our recruitment position and pay less for locum and agency staff.”

A cost of between £1 million and £4 million had been estimated by the trust back in July before the model went live.

Watch our interview with Dr Neill Hepburn, medical director at ULHT, on the estimated cost for the service before it went live.

The figure was planned by health bosses in line with the trust’s deficit target.

Since then, ULHT has forecast an end of year overspend of £82.2 million.

But Boston MP, Matt Warman, previously said “money is not the issue” when it comes to the situation at the hospital.

“If we need additional resources, then those resources will be found,” he said.

“That’s because this is ultimately about children and mother’s lives and we have to make sure that those comes first.

“We don’t know yet how much that cost will be, but we are also very clear that whatever the cost is closing the unit would have a greater cost implication.”


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