Clinicians and GPs to discuss Healthier Together plans

Kettering General Hospital
Kettering General Hospital
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About 100 clinicians from Northamptonshire’s two main hospitals and GP practices will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss how health services could change to deliver lasting improvements for local people.

The Clinical Summit taking place at Kettering Conference Centre on Tuesday, December 4, represents the largest forum of its kind to be held in the county.

Doctors and other clinicians from Kettering General Hospital and Northampton General Hospital will join GPs (the local health commissioners) and representatives from Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to analyse initial findings from the Healthier Together programme, a review of acute services across the South East Midlands.

Healthier Together’s clinical working groups – covering long term conditions, children, maternity, planned care and urgent care – will update colleagues on their work which has involved researching how the quality and safety of services could be improved through new ways of delivering services.

Key themes which have emerged since Healthier Together’s launch in February 2012 include:

- All five hospitals in the South East Midlands – at Northampton, Kettering, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton & Dunstable – should be retained as viable, busy sites including A&E and maternity departments

- The large majority of people would continue to access their health services through their local hospital – or even closer to home through community facilities

- There is clear clinical evidence that patient outcomes could be improved by concentrating some specialist, complex services on fewer sites

Healthier Together programme director Simon Wood said: “Through the findings of the clinical working groups, supported by Healthier Together’s extensive communications and engagement programme, we now have an accurate, contemporary picture of service provision across the South East Midlands together with ideas of where improvements need to be made.

“The Northamptonshire Clinical Summit – together with a similar event planned for the south of the area due to take place in January – will allow more local clinicians to contribute to this vital debate.”

To find out more about the Healthier Together programme, visit www.healthiertogethersoutheastmidlands.nhs.uk.

The Healthier Together plans have raised some concerns with people in the north of the county, including new MP for Corby and East Northants Andy Sawford and Kettering MP Philip Hollobone who have both raised the issue in Parliament in recent weeks.