Huge expansion of Northampton General Hospital will depend on performance and finance

Plan view of the early proposals for the NGH site NNL-150402-173241001
Plan view of the early proposals for the NGH site NNL-150402-173241001
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Performance targets as well as balance sheets hold the key to any expansion of the Northampton General Hospital site.

The Chron revealed last week that NGH bosses were pressing ahead with plans for a large number of new buildings on the current site

They could include a huge multi-storey ward block to the south of the main NGH complex, as well as new facilities for both children and babies, a dedicated hub for non-emergency eye surgery and bone and muscle conditions, and improved and expanded critical care facilities.

But the chief executive, Dr Sonia Swart, said regulators would have to be satisfied that NGH was in a strong enough position to start the building work.

She said: “In order for us to get the money we need, we’d have to satisfy people like Monitor, the NHS and the Trust Development Authority.

“It isn’t just a case of proving we have a plan to get our finances in order, although that is obviously part of it. They will also look at our medically-based targets so we can show that we are a fit place for all this investment,” she said. “You can look at it like going to see your bank manager.

“If you say you don’t have a job and your finances are a bit iffy, then the answer will be

no.

“If you say these are the steps I need to take to get back on track, the answer will be different.”

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Expansion of NGH site will be in ‘small phases’ say hospital bosses

Additions to the NGH site will take place in small phases, bosses predict.

Once the expansion plans are defined and approved, the hospital will decide on its priority areas.

The biggest single building would be a multi-storey ward block. But the over-arching idea is to group similar departments together to reverse the scattering of

specialties wherever they could be fitted, which has characterised the piecemeal development of the last few decades.

As new homes are created for departments, the plan is to move services out of their current buildings – some of which date back to the 18th century – at that point.

One of the key themes of the plan is to bring community health facilities, such as physiotherapy and GP offices, to the hospital site rather than try to change ingrained behaviours that draw people to the hospital site. These services could occupy vacated NGH buildings.