Northampton General Hospital drops Kettering merger idea

Plans for a merger of two hospitals in Northamptonshire that led to the resignation of a chief executive have been dropped.

Dr Gerry McSorley left Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust (NGH) in March after the board began exploring a merger with Kettering General.

The plans have now been abandoned, although the two hospitals are still discussing ways to collaborate.

Acting chief executive Dr Sonia Swart has now been appointed permanently.

Dr McSorley, who was involved in the transfer of Hinchingbrooke Hospital to the private sector, said he did not want to go through a similar exercise at NGH.

Death investigation

Dr Swart, formerly the trust's medical director, was described as an "ideal candidate" by chairman Paul Farenden.

"Her experience as a consultant and also as medical director of the trust, gives her a unique insight into the needs and future development of the organisation," he said.

Northampton General has suffered staff shortages, especially in accident and emergency.

An investigation is under way into the death of a two-year-old girl a day after she had been discharged with a suspected virus.

Dr Swart said: "We face a number of challenges but I firmly believe that Northampton General Hospital is fundamentally a good hospital with many excellent services.

"We need to rekindle the essential pride in our work and the sound teamwork based approach that forms the foundation of any successful organisation."

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