Kettering General Hospital is threatened by new legislation, says Labour

Kettering General Hospital (file picture)
Kettering General Hospital (file picture)

Labour says legislation passed by MPs in the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday, March 11) could threaten the future of Kettering General Hospital.

The hospital was one of more than 30 in England named by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham as being under threat of possible downgrading.

MPs voted to approve the law change yesterday by 297 votes to 239 – but Kettering MP Philip Hollobone was one of just seven Conservatives to rebel against the Government and vote against the measure.

According to Labour analysis, NHS regulators have significant concerns over finances at Kettering General Hospital, which risk placing the trust at the centre of area-wide reconfigurations.

Northampton General Hospital is also named as being under threat.

The new legislation – clause 119 of the Care Bill – would give ministers the power to close or downgrade a hospital if a neighbouring trust is struggling and needs help to survive.

The Government says the powers would only ever be used as a last resort for hospitals with very serious problems.

But Labour candidate in Wellingborough and Rushden Richard Garvie said the new measures were a “disgrace”.

He said: “I will not stand by and let this Government close our hospitals without a fight, and I urge everyone to wake up to the genuine threat to the future of health services in our county.

“Our local communities have already fought off one attempt to make vast reductions to our local health and hospital services, but this new threat is possibly the most serious that we have faced to date.”