Chron Comment: January 31

Totally out of the blue this week, news began seeping out of Northampton General Hospital about the “M word”: Merger.

Health chiefs have only thus far said they are not ruling it out, but there does seem to be some traction for moves towards an altogether closer collaboration between NGH and Kettering General Hospital.

Part of the problem, however, is this very lack of clarity. When people start talking about mergers there are always going to be huge implications for people, but none more so than when it comes to something as key as the way our hospitals are run.

Boardroom discussions may be ongoing, but it is vital that NHS staff as well as the public - the people who use the service - are kept fully abreast of developments. All this week’s “announcement” is likely to achieve is to start a whispering campaign and a definite climate of uncertainty. This can’t be good for anyone. The sooner we have some proper, firm details about what is planned the better for us all.

*IT will never happen, but you have to admire the chutzpah of the owners of The White Horse pub in Kingsthorpe. Unable to sell or demolish the building, they plan to cover it in TV screens, turning into a kind of Cock Hotel Circus. Good luck with it. It would be an improvement on the current look. Sadly though, it’’ll never happen.