Kettering Hospital: Politics dropped to save services
Three Northamptonshire MPs have put political differences aside to try and protect hospital services.
Conservative MPs Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone have joined up with Labour's Andy Sawford for the campaign.
In-patient paediatrics, obstetrics, accident and emergency services are all under threat at Kettering Hospital.
A review is proposing the services are offered at two hospitals covering Kettering, Luton, Northampton, Milton Keynes and Bedford.
Mr Sawford, the MP for Corby, spoke for Mr Bone (Wellingborough) and Mr Hollobone (Kettering) who are directing the campaign to retain the services at Kettering General Hospital.
They are to target the Health Secretary, government ministers, organisers of the Healthier Together campaign proposing the changes, the hospital chairman and chief executive.
Mr Sawford said that patients would be taken by ambulance to the specialist hospital relevant to the treatment they needed.
Politics set aside
"But the geography in the north of the county, concerns over the issue of ambulance response times and the distances they will have to travel are such we do not want to have to rely of other hospital for care," he said.
"Our constituents want to be offered services as near as possible to where they live.
"While there might be financial pressures to consolidate service this is not good enough for our constituents.
"Our people pay a lot of tax and expect a good service from the NHS. Something significant is being taken away.
"We have decided to put aside politics to work closely together to retain these services.
"Staff want to see Kettering General Hospital thriving although management there may have difficulties because of financial problems later.
"We are supporting change but want to make sure vital acute services are retained in the county."