Plans for a new urgent care hub at Kettering General Hospital are on track, the chief executive has confirmed.
The town’s MP, Philip Hollobone, quizzed health minister Ben Gummer in Parliament last week about the scheme.
He said: “Kettering General Hospital is looking to develop a £30m urgent care hub to replace and enhance the accident and emergency department, which is under growing strain.
“This project enjoyed the support of the previous Government. Will my hon. Friend agree to meet me and the two other MPs from north Northamptonshire to make sure that it remains on track?”
Mr Gummer replied that he was happy to meet the three MPs.
Kettering General Hospital’s chief executive, David Sissling, said: “I am delighted to see the continued support of local MPs for our plan for an Urgent Care Hub for north Northamptonshire.
“The plan involves redesigning and re-providing urgent care facilities on the KGH site.
“The hub will bring together a range of services across health and social care and offer patients an integrated response to their urgent care needs.
“The trust is now pursuing necessary detailed business planning processes relating to this major proposed scheme.”
The urgent care hub will combine both secondary care, such as hospital A&E/urgent care assessment, with primary care services such as GP services, minor injury care, social and community care services.
The hospital trust says the proposal has arisen because the health economy in north Northamptonshire has seen a significant growth in demand for urgent care – partly due to population growth (30 per cent over the past 19 years with nine per cent more expected by 2020), a rise in the population of older people and also by a 82.7 per cent increase in the use of A&E over the past 20 years as a means of accessing urgent care.
A spokesman said: “There is a need to develop an effective and sustainable way to address this rising demand for urgent care in a way that meets the needs of patients and reduces inappropriate use.
“The proposed new urgent care hub, based on the KGH site as a central north of the county location, would provide:
GP services and out-of-hours care;
An onsite pharmacy;
A minor injuries unit;
Facilities for social services;
Facilities for mental health care;
Access to community care services for the frail elderly – for example to the county’s Intermediate Care Team;
A replacement for the hospital’s 20 year-old A&E with a new A&E services area which would provide acute emergency care and integrated assessment to ensure that patients see the right specialists straight away.