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PM visits KGH to understand pressures on NHS

KT Boris Johnson visit Jo Fawcu Chief Operating Officer Med Dir Prof Andrew Chilton Dir Nursing Leanne Hackshall.jpg

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Kettering General Hospital overnight to see for himself a busy NHS hospital at work.

Mr Johnson arrived at the hospital at 10.45pm last night (February 27) and met hospital staff and patients before touring various key departments and leaving at 3.20am.

He was greeted by the Trust’s Chairman, Alan Burns, Chief Executive, Simon Weldon, Medical Director, Prof Andrew Chilton, Chief Operating Officer Jo Fawcus, Director of Nursing and Quality, Leanne Hackshall, and Director of Facilities and Estates, Ian Allen.

Mr Burns said: “We were delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to Kettering General Hospital so that he could see a busy NHS hospital at work for himself.

“He was here for several hours and met a large number of staff of all grades including cleaners, porters, reception staff, doctors, nurses and other specialists – and also had the opportunity to speak to lots of patients.

“He wanted to see the health service as it really is and see the pressures we are under for himself.

“We were very busy with more than 90 patients in our A&E when he arrived. He was very friendly and interested and engaged with a lot of staff and patients one-to-one.”

Medical Director Prof Chilton, who accompanied Mr Johnson throughout the visit, said: “Mr Johnson started in A&E and met the entire team and toured all of the department.

“He could see the difficulties we face in its old fashioned and labyrinthine layout it was crystal clear to him why we need an Urgent Care Hub – and indeed to rebuild our whole hospital.”

In October 2019 the Government announced the hospital’s bid for a £46m Urgent Care Hub on the site has been approved and the Trust is currently finalising its plans for building the new facility.

The Government has also announced that KGH has been awarded a place on the HIP2 programme. This means that the hospital has a share of seed capital so it can develop plans for rebuilding the whole hospital. These plans are expected to be delivered from 2025 onwards.

After A&E Mr Johnson met the hospital’s site team who deal with bed capacity and flow and staff in the Middleton Assessment Unit.

He also visited the short-stay admission ward, Clifford Ward, and the Coronary Care Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Frailty Unit, and Same Day Emergency Care Unit.

Prof Chilton sad: “It was an incredibly positive visit and staff and patients were absolutely delighted to meet the Prime Minister.

“He in turn was very positive about the experience and he clearly enjoyed having the opportunity to speak to a wide variety of staff and patients.”