Parking issues and dwindling patient numbers at health centre will see x-ray service moved back to Northampton General Hospital

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  • Health centre offered x-rays
  • Dwindling patient numbers and small car park among reasons given for switch to hospital
  • Patients will use upgraded facilities at NGH from October

Scans will no longer be carried out at a local health centre in Northampton from October, the NHS has said.

Weston Favell Health Centre, in Billing Brook Road, was hosting the drop-in x-ray service as part of the NHS’s push to spread health services into the community, thereby making them more accessible.

Operating the service from one site in the town is the best use of our funding and resources.

NGH spokesman

But NGH, which ran the service, said it will close it in October as patient numbers were declining, the car park was too small and the technology had been superceded.

It comes after Northampton General Hospital upgraded its radiology department on its main town centre site with two new state-of-the art rooms.

In Healthwatch Northamptonshire’s board papers, NHS Nene justified the decision by saying research shows x-rays had been “continually underused and has seen a gradual reduction in patient numbers” coupled “with outdated equipment requiring constant maintenance.”

A spokesman for NGH said that “operating the service from one site in the town is the best use of our funding and resources, and it ensures that we can offer our patients a higher standard of care.”

The board papers also cite the announcement of a new multi-deck car park at NGH, with all parking spaces free for registered ‘blue badge’ holders, as an advantage of the hospital site over Weston Favell.

NGH bosses expect that patients who use the drop-in site will use an hourly bus service from the health centre to the hospital, which takes 17 minutes to travel the three miles.