Doctor’s Notes with the Rev Dr John Smith

I do not know whether the Northants Telegraph will print this but I guess if you are reading it, they have.

I want to ask the question, what if?

What if we did not have a local newspaper? What would it feel like, what would we miss?

Would we be worse off? What might take its place? Can we afford to let it go?

My answer to my last question is a massive resounding NO. Like it or loathe it, its loss would be huge.

What it provides cannot be replaced by local radio or even an online version.

Local radio provides what I call soundbite news, there is a lack of depth.

Online is accessible but inaccessible to many people who still struggle with the technology and browsing is difficult too.

We live in a community, a large one, and where else would we find out about what is going on in Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough and all our smaller towns and villages?

There have been massive changes to the NHS and even bigger ones are under way.

Our schools become academies, fail Ofsteds or become outstanding, close their doors because there is no more room or come under threat because they are failing.

Who is going to tell us, challenge for us, warn us?

How, for example, would the north of the county manage without a full range, open all hours, accident and emergency department?

What if maternity and paediatric services were moved to Northampton?

Would the journey be worthwhile if service and standards improved?

How happy are we with GP out of hours services with doctors travelling from the other end of the county to do on call after working all day already?

Who will ask these questions? Do the research for us, campaign for us?

On a more mundane note, no on a serious note, who will tell us who has been born and who has died?

How would we as a community rejoice, how would we mourn? What if?

It does not bear thinking about but we must.