Election 2019

Election 2019: Will you rebuild Kettering hospital?

Kettering General Hospital.
Image caption Kettering General Hospital has been told it will received £46m for a new urgent care hub

Are all parties committed to delivering the planned rebuild of Kettering General Hospital, whatever the result of the general election?

Nick, from Thrapston, in Northants, sent his question to BBC News ahead of the 12 December poll.

The five candidates for the Kettering constituency all responded and their answers are below.

Kettering General Hospital: The background

The busy hospital serves Kettering, Corby and much of north Northamptonshire but has struggled to cope with rising demand and has been criticised for its safety standards.

It was taken out of special measures by inspectors in May after two years but its A&E department, built to treat 100 patients a day, has been regularly seeing 300.

The hospital, first built in 1897, became part of the new National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 and had a major redevelopment the late 1970s.

A new A&E department opened in the 1990s, while new children's and cardiac wards were completed in 2013.

In recent years, hospital bosses demanded new investment and in October this year it was announced the government had awarded it an extra £46m for an urgent care hub.

Image copyright James Haynes/Geograph
Image caption Kettering General Hospital, like many others in the UK, has struggled to cope with demand for A&E

Jim Hakewill (independent)

"We absolutely need to catch up with investment in the hospital particularly with the significant housing growth in the area. I would fully support the planned investment on the site.

"If elected, I will guarantee I will be fighting for the resource to go into the health service. My view is we should spend more time asking doctors and nurses what things are necessary."

Philip Hollobone (Conservative)

"I am committed to the rebuild. There are two parts to the investment. First there is the £46m for the urgent care hub and secondly the hospital is shortlisted for part of the £100m seed-funding for health infrastructure from 2025 for either partial or wholesale rebuilding.

"It is good for people and good news for the NHS. It is a result of hard work and campaigning. It has been my top priority."

Chris Nelson (Liberal Democrat):

"As Kettering's MP I would fight tooth and nail for Kettering General Hospital to get its fair share of improvements - particularly with tens of thousands of new homes planned for the county.

"Having grown up in Kettering as a child of parents who worked at Kettering General Hospital, I am very familiar with it and am committed to doing everything I can to help its success."

Clare Pavitt (Labour)

"Yes, I am committed to the rebuild. Investment in the NHS building is essential, but we need more than a shiny new building, we must also invest in staff.

"They don't always get the respect they should get. It is over-stretched at the moment - a lot of that is due to the increase in population, but also the lack of investment due to government funding cuts. It is a key issue of the election."

Jamie Wildman (Green):

"The Green Party does support the planned rebuild of Kettering General Hospital, as we welcome all desperately-needed investment in local NHS services.

"We feel this is a long time coming considering the trust was put into special measures more than two years ago, and KGH's urgent and emergency care facilities are still classified as needing improvement."

Image caption Visitors and staff have said doctors' offices and broom cupboards have been used for patients due to the lack of space

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