Northampton General Hospital could gain 100 beds in one of the scenarios being looked at by NHS bosses as they consider a shake-up of regional hospitals.
Leaked documents showed that in July, bosses had ranked scenarios in order of preference with the favoured one showing that NGH would gain 100 more beds than it currently has.
In that scenario, NGH would keep its status as a major acute hospital, continuing to handle complex maternity and A&E cases.
Two further hospitals – out of Kettering, Milton Keynes, Luton and Dunstable and Bedford – would also be major acutes, with the other two specialising in planned operations.
Yesterday, managers of the reorganisation project – called Healthier Together – said the document had changed since July and was now a work in progress.
They also pointed out that the bed numbers varied wildly between each of the 14 scenarios, with NGH losing beds in some.
But that may be little comfort to patients worried about the future of Kettering General, one of the five hospitals affected by the project and who could lose up to 515 beds in some scenarios.
Andy Sawford, the Labour candidate for the vacant Corby MP’s post, who has been campaigning to save the county hospital services said: “This will be the end of the hospital as we know it.”
The leaked papers say two of the five hospitals “will have varying levels of service on-site”.
Simon Wood, programme director of Healthier Together, said: “The documents were working papers which we continue to review and develop. It would be unhelpful to release these working documents into the public arena at this time because it is likely to result in members of the public and patients drawing conclusions about the future of hospital services that are misleading and confusing. No decisions have been taken.”