Lincolnshire hospice 'yet to admit first patient'

The hospice
Image caption The hospice must meet CQC standards of care

A Lincolnshire hospice which opened in 2011 has yet to admit a patient.

The £1.5m Butterfly Hospice in Boston, which is run by a registered charity, took two years to build following a 12-year community fundraising campaign.

Skegness town councillors raised a motion calling for an end to what they call the "scandal of its disuse".

But the Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said they had not yet had confirmation the hospice had reached national quality standards.

'Their own pockets'

Mark Anderson, a Skegness councillor, said: "The building has been up for the past two years and the communities of Skegness and Boston raised thousands and thousands of pounds in the hope of getting patients into those hospice beds."

He said the CCG, the GP-led group set up to organise the community's healthcare services, was yet to commission any services at the hospice.

"It's a scandal we are having to wait this long," Mr Anderson said.

"We have been told the CCG are looking into it. But it has taken two years.

"If the communities who contributed out of their own pockets to this building are now asking for patients to be put into this hospice, the CCG should be doing that."

Taxpayers' money

However Dr Peter Holmes, clinical leader for the Boston area's CCG, said he had yet to receive any "official notification" the hospice had met Care Quality Commission (CQC) standards.

Organisations providing certain health and social care services must be registered with the CQC.

Dr Holmes said: "I'm not yet convinced the Butterfly Hospice is in a position to provide the care we're asking them for. One of the things we have to do is ensure proper use of taxpayers' money. Butterflies haven't yet been able to provide the kind of service we would want."

He added he hoped the hospice would be in a position to tender bids for services later in the year.

"If they put in the best bid, hopefully they will be able to start getting patients in their beds," he added.

Nobody from the hospice was available for comment.

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