Kettering Hospital A&E 'unfit for purpose'

Exterior view of Kettering General Hospital
Image caption The demand for A&E services in Kettering is "too great", said Andy Sawford MP

A health minister has agreed to look at a bid for funding to make an A&E department at a Northamptonshire hospital "fit for purpose".

Dr Dan Poulter met MPs Andy Sawford, Philip Hollobone and Peter Bone at Kettering General Hospital on Thursday.

The MPs told him the hospital's A&E was designed for 20,000 patients a year but last year 80,000 came for treatment.

This population growth had made it "unfit for purpose" and also stretched other hospital services, they said.

'Services suffering'

The minister said he would look at a proposal from the hospital and clinical commissioning group backed by the MPs if it was submitted later this year.

Labour MP Mr Sawford, speaking for the other two who were Conservatives, said it was a worthwhile meeting and they had put across to the minister that the Kettering Hospital A&E was no longer fit for purpose because of the growth in the local population.

He said the cross-party group had set to one side their differing views on the health service and the national debate to take a realistic local view.

"We just want Kettering Hospital to be treated like others such as Southend or Alder Hey which got money from Treasury coffers," he said.

"But we have to bring together the hospital and the clinical commissioning group to make a joint bid for funding.

"The minister has said he would look at it later this year.

"We are not looking for a massive new building but additional funding for A&E and other services which are suffering."

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