Danetre Hospital is not closing, Northampton General Hospital’s chief operating officer has said, after members of the public and Daventry’s MP wrote to her for clarification on the situation.
Deborah Needham, who is also the deputy chief executive at NGH, wrote a letter to Chris Heaton-Harris, which he has published on his website.
Although some services have been moved to Northampton, forcing patients to travel to the town for certain procedures, Danetre Hospital continues to operate.
Mrs Needham said in her letter to the Daventry MP: “We are committed to fully maximising our use of the areas of the site that we occupy and currently operate outpatient, diagnostic (plain film X-rays) and a limited range of day surgery services at Daventry.
“What has occurred in recent weeks is a need to temporarily relocate the day surgery services back to Northampton General Hospital due to a lack of staff in theatres for us to be able to safely operate the lists that we had planned.
“This is due to some vacancies and also staff illness. All other services continue as normal.”
Mrs Needham said that a smaller range of procedures takes place at Daventry compared to the main hospital because of its distance from NGH.
Those patients requiring anaesthesia have to be carefully chosen so it is safe to proceed without the full back-up services of the hospital, so only relatively minor operations take place there.
Mrs Needham added: “Irrespective of this, we need to be able to staff the theatre, recovery and ward area to support the procedures and it is this aspect that has led to the current situation.”
Patients have been offered dates at NGH and Mrs Needham confirmed that none have been sent out of county, and she said she was confident that patient waiting times would not be affected.