Pilgrim Hospital still well below standard

Given all the bad press quangos have received since we were ‘blessed’ with a new government, the health service watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), certainly seems to be earning its keep.

The CQC has maintained it’s criticism of Pilgrim Hospital in Boston and it’s extremely depressing to hear a spokesperson for the hospital say that things have improved because they are now filling in a few forms.

From my personal experience, the hospital actually needs to go back to basics and not just faff around with bits of admin and updated procedures. Only the complete replacement of the staff running the wards would achieve what’s needed at this hospital, because most of the staff are simply not up to the job. I’ve no doubt there are some highly professional and dedicated staff in the hospital wards at present, but they have let patients down just as badly as their sub-standard colleagues, by failing to speak out over the years.

Now compare my experience in Pilgrim Hospital with a recent, albeit brief, stay in Peterborough’s brand new city hospital – put simply, there is no comparison. The people of Peterborough and its hinterland are fortunate indeed to have, not just a nice new shiney hospital, but to also have excellent staff to go with it. As an aside, and again from personal experience, it’s the staff that make the difference, not the age of the building, Nottingham City Hospital proves that – over 100 years old and counting.

On an even more depressing note, the County Hospital in Lincoln is even worse than Pilgrim, at least it was 3 years ago. I’m therefore more than a little surprised that the CQC hasn’t laid in to them yet.

A small victory for the pedestrians

Almost 12 months ago now, I wrote to Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital management, raising my concerns regarding pedestrian safety.  As often happens with these large faceless organisations, I received no response.  Never deterred by stonewalling I wrote again, just in case the first letter didn’t get there, however this time I hand delivered it.  Yet again, no response, so then I wrote to the hospital trust HQ in Lincoln.  This time, albeit after a period of some 8 months, I received a letter stating that, having consider my points, they would indeed be taking steps to improve the situation.

Although it may sound like it, I’m not actually out to blow my own trumpet, but simply to point out that it sometimes takes more than one go to get an answer, let alone to get something fixed.  If at first you don’t succeed and all that.

What was I complaining about?  Next time you go to the Pilgrim Hospital and park in the main car park, take note of the bit where you have to cross the road to get to the main entrance.  Assuming the new signage hasn’t been installed, take note of the care, or more accurately, lack of it, taken by some drivers as you attempt to walk across the raised road section between the car park and the approach to the hospital’s main entrance.

About 2 years ago it was necessary for us to visit the hospital every week for nearly 6 months, so we became very familiar with the selfish attitude of some drivers when using this piece of road.  The raised road surface and some signs, were supposed to alert drivers to pedestrians crossing and that they (the drivers) should therefore give them priority – this was often not the case.  Having witnessed at least two near misses, one involving my wife, I decided enough was enough, hence my letters to the hospital management.

Although I didn’t get the type of signs I wanted, ‘STOP – Give way to pedestrians at all times’, I did convince them to change the existing signs for something more prominent.  A red square with white lettering.  I just hope it doesn’t take them another 12 months to put them in place!