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4th September 2012
Steve Lowden presents the case for change
On the 23rd August I was at St. Marys Hospital in Kettering, home of NHS Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who organise and lead mental health and community health services for the county.
This was a lively event, attended by more than thirty people, and it was very well-organised. There was broad agreement on the Healthier Together case for change and a realisation that it's a pretty complicated business actually bringing about change while continuing to deliver high quality, safe NHS services.
Mental health services do not form part of the Healthier Together programme, but the point was clearly made that we need to consider the 'whole person' and that Commissioners need to talk to the Trust about their vision for moving more services into the community.
I have been invited back, always a good sign, during the formal consultation phase and am looking forward to it.
No hospitals will close. Northampton, Kettering, Milton Keynes, Luton & Dunstable and Bedford will all continue to provide most local services
All five hospitals will have an A&E and maternity service
Our first priority is safe, sustainable, high quality services
Our recommendations will be based on clinical evidence and local need