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Campaigners to hold public meeting over Boston Pilgrim Hospital’s children’s services

Campaigners will hold a public meeting amid fears a children’s ward at Boston Pilgrim Hospital could be closed.

Health chiefs recently revealed plans which could lead to a temporary closure of the service at the hospital temporarily due to a shortage of staff.

The proposals have been widely condemned by the public and has appeared in the national media in recent days.

Now, the SoS Pilgrim group has announced a public meeting will take place following the United Lincolnshire Hospital’s Trust (ULHT) decision to review paediatric services at the hospital.

The public meeting will be held at Boston Grammar School tonight, Thursday, May 10, from 7pm in an effort to save the service.

Boston and Skegness MP, Matt Warman, will attend the meeting after already raising the issue in the House of Commons.

Dr Keiran Sharrock of the Lincolnshire Local Medical Committee, Mayor of Boston Councillor Bernard Rush and a ULHT spokesperson are also expected to attend.

1: Maintain current services at Pilgrim Hospital, which is reliant on finding additional multi-professional staff from agencies to cover childrens’, maternity and neonatal services and getting the right balance between substantive and temporary staff.

2: Temporary closure of the childrens’ inpatient ward at Pilgrim with effect from June 4 – providing additional staffing cannot be secured.

Temporary redirection of paediatric emergencies transported by ambulance. Increase gestational age for delivery within the high risk birthing unit from 30 weeks to 34 weeks.

3: Temporary closure of the paediatric inpatient services at Pilgrim with effect from June 4. Temporary redirection of paediatric emergencies. Retaining consultant-led obstetrics and neonatology at Pilgrim until July 1 when medical staffing reduces beyond the ability to support neonatology. From July 1 temporary closure of consultant-led obstetrics and neonatology at Pilgrim until the staffing gaps can be addressed. Establish midwifery-led birthing unit at Pilgrim Hospital and a co-located midwifery led birthing unit at the Lincoln Hospital to facilitate increased activity on the consultant-led unit.

4: Maintain current paediatric in-patient services, consultant-led obstetrics and neonatology services at Pilgrim and Lincoln Hospitals with a temporary transfer of staff. Stop all paediatric impatient and day case elective at both Pilgrim and Lincoln. Stop all general paediatric outpatient appointments.

Mr Warman asked the Prime Minister Theresa May on May 2 whether she could work with him to ensure that that more is done to recruit doctors to the health service.

Mrs May assured that “every effort was being made” to recruit more staff and to keep children’s services open at the hospital.

The health minister also promised yesterday to leave “no stone unturned” to ensure more paediatrician’s are employed at Pilgrim Hospital.

Jackie Doyle-Price MP, who is the health minister responsible for children’s health, responded positively saying that every effort will be made to make sure this happens.

ULHT’s executive board is expected to make a decision on the future of the service at a meeting on May 25.