Health chiefs predict that following a review of services at Kettering General Hospital, eight out of 10 patients now receiving acute treatment there would continue to do so.
But there is no guarantee consultant-led maternity services, long stay children’s care, emergency surgery, specialist emergency medicine or critical care will continue to be provided at the hospital.
Initial analysis of the findings of the Healthier Together review of five regional hospitals, including Kettering, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton and Dunstable, conclude that specialised care would be improved if provided at fewer sites.
The changes are needed to secure the long-term financial and clinical viability of the hospitals.
Healthier Together programme director Simon Wood said: “From the initial analysis, it is clear that everyone across the South East Midlands would continue to access the vast majority of their acute hospital care locally.”
Mr Wood said all five sites would be retained as viable busy hospitals, with a maternity and A&E service, outpatients, elective surgery, short-stay paediatrics and some critical care.
Patients could get better outcomes from the development of centres of excellence in elective care, specialising, for example, in knee and hip replacements, he said.
No decisions have been made and public consultations will take place in late spring 2013.
Mr Wood said: “There is still a considerable amount of work to be done to develop and refine the detailed activity modelling before we prepare detailed proposals.”