While we all know that Daventry has its own community hospital, few of us realise what exactly goes on in the buildings off London Road.
Danetre Hospital has a long history in the town, evolving from the historic workhouse into a modern community based facility.
People may have an image of a ‘hospital’ in their mind, with wards full of rows of beds, but Danetre is one that breaks that mould.
The modern building, which opened only six years ago, is a welcoming environment, and within its walls a whole range of services are provided to the public.
Vince Baxter is locality manager of Daventry and South Northants, in charge of Danetre Hospital’s building for Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Trust.
He said: “We have services including the ward beds, which are run by Northampton General Hospital, and a physiotherapy section which treats people who have been referred here from hospitals, consultants, GPs, or even through self referral. There’s an occupational therapy section which deals with helping people to live independently. We have speech and language specialists, mental health services, drug and alcohol services, the district nurses are based here, as are the school nurses for the area.
“Of course we also have Danetre Medical Practice on site and a pharmacy, plus the Friends of Danetre Hospital Shop and the restaurant.”
Steven Rea, senior physiotherapist, said: “We have a full range of services here at Danetre - exactly what you’d get at a larger hospital. The benefit for our patients is that often they don’t have a full range of motion and Danetre is usually closer for them to get to.”
Clare Gwilliam, senior caterer in the restaurant, said: “We’re not contracted out, the restaurant here is run by the NHS, so we don’t make a profit and can keep our prices down.
“We’re open to everyone, they don’t have to have any appointment at the hospital at all. We serve breakfasts from 9am to 11.30am, and lunches from noon to 2pm. Outside of those times between 9am and 3pm we serve sandwiches, drinks and other snacks.
“We even do Christmas meals and we can host meetings or groups here too if we have notice.”
Mr Baxter said: “We have specialist teams here for children’s and adults’ mental health; a mental health team for older people too where isolation and depression can be issues.
“A lot of people don’t realise we have a second reception on the first floor around the back which can be used by people accessing the drug, alcohol or mental health services.
“We have people coming into the hospital for various talking therapies and treatments, so we have rooms for group sessions and smaller ones for individual sessions.
“But we also have teams based here who look after those with quite severe mental health problems. They’re based here but usually go out every day to visit people, and they’re usually reachable by phone for their patients whose mental states can be under such stress and finely balanced that changes most people can take in their stride can risk setting them back.
“We also have a service here for people with gender problems - that’s part of a national programme and we get people coming from all over the country to here to talk to the psychiatric consultants we have.”