Special measures Kettering hospital to expand A&E

image copyrightJames Haynes/Geograph
image captionKettering General Hospital was told it needed to improve its accident and emergency waiting times

A hospital in special measures has announced £2.4m of improvements to its "cramped" emergency department.

In February, inspectors said Kettering General "requires improvement", an upgrade on 2017's "inadequate" rating.

The hospital sees 93,000 A&E patients per year - 180 on some busy days - which has doubled in the past 20 years.

An adjoining fractures clinic will be moved and a new area opened by Christmas to treat minor injuries, which make up about 40% of cases.

The latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) report said management had "driven improvements" across the trust, but cited A&E waiting times at as an area for progress.

The hospital remains in special measures overall, meaning it is forced by the CQC to receive support from external bodies to try to improve standards.

A hospital spokeswoman said: "A self-contained area to provide care for the 115 or more 'minors' patients we see each day will create a better environment and reduce waits to be seen.

"We are doing this because we are aware our A&E facilities are cramped and were not designed for the numbers of people who use them."

It is hoped this will, in turn, free up more space to treat patients with more serious conditions.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionThe hospital has already grown A&E with a temporary building and by freeing-up office space

Earlier this year, offices and storage areas were turning into emergency clinic rooms and a 13-bay major injury unit was set up in a portable building close to the main entrance.

The hospital said it was also making a case to the NHS for a new urgent care centre on its site to provide better out-of-hours access to GPs and nurses.

As part of the changes, a fractures clinic will relocate to the hospital's dermatology unit, and those services will move to a building in the town centre.

The new A&E area is expected to open on 22 December.

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