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PROGRESS ON PAEDIATRICS, BUT MORE WORK TO DO, SAYS MP

Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman has welcomed progress on keeping paediatrics at Pilgrim Hospital, but has urged the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust to continue its work to recruit more staff for the service.

At today’s ULHT board meeting, the Trust agreed to continue to run paediatric services beyond 1st August as long as safety can be maintained. It has already recruited two paediatric consultants and continues to explore all possible recruitment options to find more staff to keep services running safely.

Matt has also highlighted the issue in Parliament on numerous occasions. Most recently, in Wednesday’s Opposition Day Debate on NHS Outsourcing and Privatisation, he pointed out that the interests of patients, not politics, must come first in the NHS saying, “hyperbole harms our health service.”

Highlighting the current concerns about children’s services at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital in the debate, he said, “I have been in those public meetings saying to my constituents that I believe that the [hospital] trust in my own constituency is passionately committed to providing healthcare services for desperately ill children as close to home as possible.

“When I say that that trust is struggling to recruit, it is because it is struggling to recruit; it is because it is being honest. It is not because of some conspiracy theory at the top of the previous Government or of this Government, but because there are deep-seated problems that this Government are tackling with, for instance, the expansion of medical schools and the expansion of nurse training places.”

Following today’s ULHT board meeting, Matt said, “I was very pleased to hear the Trust’s commitment to maintaining women’s and children’s services at Pilgrim Hospital in the short, medium and long term. We all want to see children’s services stay at Pilgrim and as I said in this week’s NHS debate in Parliament, playing politics is irresponsible as it causes unnecessary alarm to vulnerable people and spreads inaccurate information. Locally, it is important that ULHT continues to explore all recruitment options to retain paediatrics at Pilgrim, and I will continue to support them in that however I can.”