The way health services are delivered in Corby must change in the future, according to local health bosses.
The group has released information about its challenges ahead of a full three-month public consultation, which is due to take place in early 2018.
The town’s urgent care centre (UCC), funded by the Corby Care Commissioning Group (CCG), has been at the centre of a long-standing dispute with the threat of closure earlier this year.
Health bosses say new figures on the centre’s usage and and its effect, or lack of, on A&E attendances at KGH show the current model isn’t working.
A Corby CCG spokesman said: “These issues can only be addressed if there are changes in the way some services are delivered.
“We want to explain why change is necessary and to listen to your views.
“This will lead to a full public consultation in the coming months.”
Ten people used the UCC 310 times between them in the space of one year, with one 63-year-old attending 100 times.
A total of 70,666 patients visited but a fifth (22 per cent) had no illness detected, costing the NHS £951,000.
Seventeen per cent of all visits were ‘re-worked’, meaning they had gone to the wrong place and should have gone to their GP or A&E.
The CCG also says that the centre is not reducing A&E demand – although it initially did – with attendances at KGH steadily rising since 2014.
They are now holding discussions with local partners ahead of the consultation.
The spokesman added: “The CCG is fully committed to involving patients and the public in the decisions we make.
“That is why we have begun a conversation about major challenges the local NHS is facing.”
The commissioning group added that as well as its view that the model isn’t working, the financial pressures it is facing mean changes must be made.
Bosses say they must save £3.5m by the end of the financial year, with another £3.5m needed to be found after the legal challenge over the UCC saga.
That makes the total savings needed this year £7m, with “difficult decisions” ahead.
Every visit to the UCC now costs the CCG £63.
One area the CCG discussed when the decision to keep the UCC open was made was that people are visiting because they couldn’t get an appointment at their GP.
The spokesman added that recent health survey results show people aren’t happy with the current service provisions.
Only 48 per cent of people in Corby found it easy to access primary care, compared to 68 per cent nationally.
A total of 44 per cent of people in Corby said it wasn’t easy, compared to 28 per cent nationally.
How do you feel about the way health services are provided in Corby? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.