Patients being 'allowed to die quietly' by crisis-hit NHS in Lincolnshire
Patients are being "allowed to die quietly", according to a county politician amid claims of a crisis in Lincolnshire's NHS.
Councillors charged with scrutinising the local NHS say people are "losing faith" in services they are receiving.
Two health trusts have endured a difficult seven days, during which it emerged:
The county's hospitals are being investigated over claims they have high death rates.
A former hospital trust boss claimed he was breaching a "gagging order" to reveal how he was told to prioritise meeting targets over patient safety.
Response times by EMAS, the ambulance service for the county, were revealed as the worst in Britain.
This comes seven months after the Echo reported claims by MP Stephen Phillips that patients died in the county because of the previous Government's obsession with targets.
Now, councillors who sit on the health scrutiny committee at Lincolnshire County Council have spoken out.
Chairman Christine Talbot said: "The investigation into high mortality rates across United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) is extremely worrying. There have been 670 deaths in hospitals across the county since 2009 – that is an Earth-shattering revelation.
"And ambulances are failing to reach patients in time.
"People are losing faith in the health service."
Chris Brewis, a health scrutiny committee member, said: "The health service in Lincolnshire is in a real mess – a crisis. It seems to be a place where people are just allowed to die quietly – it is not on."
Former ULHT chairman David Bowles has called for current incumbent Paul Richardson to step down.
ULHT spokesman Claire White said: "We have thousands of doctors, nurses and other staff working incredibly hard to deliver safe and high-quality care to patients every day. That is and always will be our top priority."