Kettering A&E to get £46m for new urgent care hub

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

An A&E department where doctors' offices and broom cupboards were used as extra space for patients is to receive an extra £46m from the government.

Kettering General Hospital bosses had demanded new investment "here and now" for an urgent care hub.

Its A&E was built to accommodate 100 people a day, but now regularly has 300 patients.

Health Minister Edward Argar said the funding would make a "huge difference".

He visited the hospital's A&E earlier this month and was presented with plans for the new hub by hospital bosses.

He described the proposals as "an effective way to solve existing issues and the long term future".

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

The funding was announced at a debate in Westminster Hall, arranged by Kettering's Conservative MP Philip Hollobone.

Mr Argar confirmed the money would be given "at the next capital review" and said it would make "huge difference to the people of Kettering and the area".

For six years the hospital has said its emergency wards are inadequate.

Two years ago a new temporary building was added to A&E, but staff and patients said it was too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.

Last year was the hospital's busiest ever and hospital admissions are up 6% again this year.

Earlier this month, Dr Adrian Ierina, clinical director for urgent care, said: "The worst I've seen is 14 patients queuing in the corridor [on beds], waiting to be seen."

Jo Fawcus, the hospital said chief operating officer, said the new hub was needed "here and now" due to the "rising demand and the challenges we face every day".

The hospital was taken out of special measures earlier this year but remains rated as "requires improvement" by the Care Quality Commission.

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