Cuts on agenda for Louth County Hospital to curb deficit

Louth County Hospital. EMN-141021-134058001
Louth County Hospital. EMN-141021-134058001

Massive cutbacks have to be made to prevent United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust heading for a budget deficit of £365m a year.

It is understood the future of the A&E departments and maternity services at Boston Pilgrim Hospital will form a key part of a widespread money saving review.

Existing facilities at other hospitals - including Skegness and Louth - will also be on the agenda.

A&E departments could effectively be ‘downgraded’ with urgent cases transferred to Lincoln General Hospital which would be a ‘major’ emergency centre.

Politicians have already voiced their fears about the proposals with Horncastle Town Council last week adding its opposition to cuts, after East Lindsey District Council also expressed its concerns about the changes.

A United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) spokesman said: “No decisions have been made on the future of our A&E and maternity services. We are working closely with our clinical commissioning groups and County Council as part of Lincolnshire Health and Care review which will consider proposals to provide good quality, sustainable services for all.

“As part of a national review into urgent and emergency services, it is being proposed that hospital A&Es will be re-classified in the future. For example they may become ‘emergency centres’ or ‘major emergency centres’.

“Doing nothing is simply not an option. In five years, health and care organisations in Lincolnshire will have a combined budget deficit of over £365m per year if we do nothing.”

It is understood the Trust could reveal some details of where cuts may be needed in January.