The Board of Lincolnshire ICB has today made a final decision on the future of the children’s (paediatric) service at Pilgrim Hospital Boston, following a recent 12 week public consultation.
After overwhelmingly positive public feedback that the current service model meets the needs of the local population, the decision was made to make this the permanent arrangement, providing security for patients, families and staff in Boston and the surrounding area.
This decision follows significant challenges in the paediatric service over a number of years, which resulted in temporarily reducing the service from a full children’s ward to a short-stay (12-hour) Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) in 2018.
Now, five years on, improved staff recruitment and new ways of working have meant that that the hospital can offer a full Children’s Unit, which is an example of best practice, offering early assessment and enabling us to care for the majority of Boston-area children at the hospital.
A public consultation was run between Monday 12 June 2023 and Monday 4 September 2023, asking whether this current model of care should be made permanent.
Director of Strategic Planning, Integration and Partnerships at Lincolnshire ICB, Pete Burnett, said: “We have reviewed the results of the public consultation, and we were pleased to see that there was overwhelming support for making this service model permanent. This means that there is renewed certainty about the provision of children’s care in the Boston area for the future.
“This is a real success story, as this service was really struggling five years ago, and through the efforts of teams at the hospital, supported by patients and families, we have managed to deliver a much improved service for people in the area.”
The current model of care:
- Retains a rapid assessment and discharge profile
- Allows for patients to complete their full stay at Pilgrim hospital unless transfer is clinically necessary
- Delivers a reduced length of stay, which has resulted in very few children needing to transfer from the hospital, with the exception of those children following specific specialist pathways (which was always the case)
- Offers quick access to paediatric care for children accessing the Emergency Department
- Has high levels of family satisfaction and a low level of complaints.
- Has most recently been rated by the CQC as ‘Good’.