On Thursday, 7th February the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, visited Northampton General Hospital (NGH) at my invitation.
I asked the Health Secretary to visit Northampton to see and hear about the great work of our local Hospital’s clinicians and staff, and to discuss how the Government’s record £20.5 billion investment into the NHS can help local NHS services in Northampton.
Accompanied by the NGH Acting Chief Executive and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the Health Secretary also looked around the Hospital’s new Nye Bevan building. The 60-bed unit which opened late last October helps NGH to assess patients quickly without needing to admit them as in-patients. The Unit is designed to release the pressures on the Hospital’s A&E Department to help patients get the attention they need. Speaking about the new building, the Health Secretary said “the new unit has made a big impact on A&E. it means people can get into a hospital bed if they need it, faster than before.” He added that he’d like to replicate this elsewhere in the country.
The shining example that NGH have shown to help deal with the pressures faced at A&E Departments up and down the country was brilliant and it was great to show the Health Secretary positive examples of changes that Hospitals can make. The A&E department at NGH has an Outstanding rating and the Hospital is also Rated Grade A for Stroke care.
The timing of this visit coincides with the recent publication of the NHS’ Long Term Plan (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-long-term-plan-launched) which sets out how this Government’s £20.5 billion investment will be spent over the next five years. This Long Term Plan gives the NHS the security they need to make real and tangible improvements to the care that we give to patients.
The Health Secretary and I chatted to NGH staff about their experiences working in the Hospital. Hearing first-hand from these health professionals helps us in Parliament and in Government to understand how best to support NHS staff in their important work.
The NHS truly is a national treasure, one that is always there for our loved ones when in need and it will always have the support of this government. Northampton General Hospital is a brilliant example of how the people who work there are its finest asset.