I was delighted to be welcomed to Northampton General Hospital where I met Eileen Doyle, who is the hospital’s Chief Executive and Karen Spellman, acting Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Northampton General Hospital, standing in for Chris Pallot who is running the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
We discussed a variety of issues, ranging from the ongoing local vaccination programme and the challenges presented by the virus, through to areas where the hospital is further adapting and expanding for its patients.
In recent times, the hospital leaders have overseen a number of exciting new developments with extra funding they have received from government. One major development is a brand-new, ground-breaking Paediatrics A&E building which when it opens soon will be an important addition to NGH’s current A&E.
In another major development NGH is building a new Critical Care Unit, which is going to double current capacity. There is also going to be a new retail unit. I was honoured to be given a tour around these exciting new building projects which will make a real difference to the treatment of patients at Northampton General Hospital.
One priority of the hospital remains the challenge to drive down cancer waiting times and try to ensure no patients have to travel outside Northamptonshire to receive treatment. Even throughout the pandemic, the hospital’s cancer teams have been working to develop their cancer surgical services and key to this will be ensuring more patients are treated locally and with reduced waiting times.
I took the opportunity to show my appreciation – and what I am sure is everyone’s appreciation – for healthcare workers who have done such a tremendous job in difficult circumstances.
One thing the Hospital would like to do is introduce robotic cancer surgery for prostate cancer patients at NGH as well as other cancer patients. To that end, one piece of equipment which could be integral in providing better care for cancer patients is called a Da Vinci X surgical machine, which costs about £1.5 million and provides robotic-assisted surgery for patients. I will be personally making the case to the Government for this robot which could prove of great benefit to cancer patients in Northampton.
Covid-19 cases and deaths have substantially reduced here in Northampton in recent days and weeks and I would like to thank Karen and Eileen for their continued efforts. They have made significant contributions throughout recent times in the course of the pandemic which have been so testing for us all, and I will continue to work closely with them and the wider team to ensure support for the people of Northampton.