Kettering Hospital rebuild blueprint work 'has already started'
Get on with it - says health minister
Plans are already under way to put together a bid for a £500m rebuild of Kettering General Hospital.
The hospital trust has been designated as one of the government's HIP2 shortlist of 40 hospitals across the country in line for a rebuild. In order for the scheme to go ahead, KGH bosses must first put together a detailed bid for their portion of the money. That process is likely to cost upwards of £2m in seed funding - which the trust is still waiting to receive.
But bosses have now told the Northants Telegraph they are ploughing on regardless and have started working on their plan that could see a 'significant' overhaul of the Rothwell Road site.
There had been some talk speculation that the hospital may be built on another out-of-town site - but it now looks like the facility will stay on the existing site.
In Parliament last week, the town's MP Philip Hollobone asked Health Secretary Matt Hancock when the hospital could expect to see the seed funding. Mr Hancock replied: "The funding will be paid to the hospitals imminently, but it is definitely coming, so they can get on with planning for it."
And this week KGH Director of Strategy Polly Grimmett said: “In light of the very welcome news that Kettering Hospital is part of the HIP2 funding, the hospital has already started on the planning and preparation work.
“The opportunity to rebuild a significant part of the current hospital buildings, requires detailed work to design a set of buildings that can deliver the highest standards of modern medical care to our local population for the next 30 years.
“We are assembling a project team with the right kind of skills and experience to complete a review of the different options and come up with an outline plan and design, called a Strategic Outline Case (SOC), by the end of 2020.
“This includes a thorough review of the current land and buildings and will consider how we can maximise the added benefit of also being awarded £46m for a new urgent care facility on the site.
“The ‘seed money’ is available this year to develop this strategic outline case, and the Trust has already been working closely with NHS England to begin using this.
“There will be public engagement events and different workshops as we move through the planning and design, to ensure we are listening to our local patients and public about what they need from a new facility."