"No beds!"

About: Pilgrim Hospital

My grandson aged 5 was booked in for an operation on 10th Feb for the 3rd time. I had taken a day off from work yet again to look after my granddaughter whilst my daughter stayed with my grandson in the hospital. I took them to the Pilgrim for 11:30 for her to be told that there were no beds in the children's ward. Patients had been turned away all morning. As they had been turning people away all morning it would have been common courtesy to telephone people to let them know. People were travelling for miles for there appointments. Surely it would have been known the night before that the beds were going to be full and with a bit of forward thinking the nurses could contact everyone to let them know. It is disgraceful that they obviously cant organise the beds and we have trust our kids with them.

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Response from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust We have made a change

Dear Anon

Firstly we would like to apollgise for the cancellation of the operation at such short notice.

On 9th February the decision was made not to cancel this operation list as the children were not arriving on the Children’s ward until 11.30 when it was felt that we should be able to accommodate list. Unfortunately the children’s ward admitted a significant number of emergency admissions and therefore all the 19 beds were filled.

The children’s ward did work very hard to create beds to accommodate this operating list of four patients in the afternoon by discharging children during the morning, but unfortunately these beds were then filled again with emergencies.

There is only one children’s ward so once the beds are full we have no other ward to send to so unfortunately the only option is to cancel patients.

Following the cancelling of these patients on the day, we have now put in place a system where all the elective admissions for the following day are looked at, and if there appears to be a lack of capacity for the following day the parents/carers are telephoned explaining the situation and asking them to telephone the Children’s ward on the morning of the operation to see if a bed is available. If there is a bed then the child is told to come, if not then the child is cancelled. By making the telephone call the preceding day parents/carers are aware there may not be a bed and can be prepared for a cancellation. This situation is still not satisfactory but emergency admissions have to take priority.

We appreciate that a lot of planning goes into admitting a child to hospital by parents, but emergency admissions and therefore bed capacity is beyond nurses control.


Margaret Goodley

Children's Ward Sister