The chairman of the Wellingborough branch of the body charged with making changes to healthcare provision in the county say they are essential to improve a service which is “hugely stretched”.
Dr Roger Perry, the GP who is the Nene Clinical Commissioning Group’s Wellingborough chairman, spoke at a meeting of Wellingborough Council’s community committee on Monday, March 18.
The commissioning groups will replace the PCT in April and are leading the Healthier Together review.
The Healthier Together programme is looking at services provided in hospitals in Bedford, Luton and Dunstable, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Kettering.
The review’s findings will form the basis for models of how care could be provided across the South East Midlands in the future.
Dr Perry told the community committee the review was about “ensuring medical facilities were fit for the future and delivering the best quality care” for a population which has an increasing number of elderly people.
He said: “The status quo is not an option. If left as they are all we will see is a deteriorating level of service.
“The recommendation is that three hospitals have a greater focus on urgent and emergency care. The remaining two hospitals will become more involved in offering planned care and booked surgery.
“The current service is hugely stretched. Both hospitals [Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals] have been on black alert over the last few months.
“One reason is the huge difficulty hospitals have moving patients out of hospital. There are not the support services for getting them back in the community.
“A second reason is that they have a number of people attending A&E who could be seen at a minor injuries unit.”