Recently my sister suffered a very bad fall at home.
After she had suffered a weekend of agony her daughter and I managed to convince her to go to the 8 until 8 treatment centre at the diagnostic centre in Corby.
I was so impressed by the amount of car parking (free too), the well thought-out design of the building, the efficiency and friendliness of the staff.
The reception area is large with plenty of seating with a Java coffee shop and dispensing chemist.
My sister was immediately given a wheelchair and was seen by a triage nurse within 30 minutes and was then moved though for X-ray.
It was then that she faced a long wait.
The X-rays had to be faxed to Kettering General Hospital to be seen by a consultant.
After an hour-and-a-half wait one of the staff became quite angry at the delay and made a comment that stuff sent to Kettering tends to just be set aside.
I don’t know how true that is, is it myth or the old bad feeling that existed in the 50s and 60s between Corby and Kettering?
I would hate to think it was the latter.
I know that the staff at Kettering are dedicated, overworked and not well paid.
However, it does raise the age old question, should Corby have a hospital?
It is a question asked in the town for many years but has now become even more relevant when we consider recent developments in the town.
Corby fought hard for a railway station and when that opened the effect was immediate.
People struggling to rent or buy homes in London saw a chance to escape the city, buy a brand new and larger property for a much lower price in a nicer place to live in the centre of England’s best kept secret, commute to London for work and yet make money on the move.
The result has been a boom in house building in the town and Corby being called the most dynamic town in the east of England and the second largest town in the county and yet we have no hospital.
Well, money is always a factor especially now with an almost bankrupt NHS but it goes deeper than that.
Kettering has become a major regional hospital and there seems to be a reluctance to see a hospital developing next door because of the effect it would have on their funding and esteem.
Kettering has the catchment area of Kettering, Wellingborough, the smaller towns and villages.
Take Corby and its satellite villages out of the equation and KGH would face a massive drop in funding.
There is also the fact that Kettering General Hospital is hard to get to on public transport from Corby.
You do need a car but when you get there you find too little parking available and a private company charges you for using it.
The argument for a Corby General Hospital is stronger now than ever.
The ideal area would be the existing diagnostic centre, plenty of land for development, easy to get to, plenty of free parking and the room to expand it if needed.
How that development could take place will depend on the health experts but I do feel that now is the time for it. For a town the size of Corby not to have a general hospital is laughable and something has to be done to get one.
I hope those who supported a railway station for Corby, like me, will now switch their attention to this issue and use the experience they have learned in that campaign.