University announces new partnership to form the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group

The University of Leicester has today (Thursday) announced a new partnership with Kettering General Hospital, Northampton General Hospital (NGH), the University of Northampton and other academic partners, to form the new University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group.

The new NHS Group will benefit from Leicester’s expertise, and help achieve improved patient care and outcomes for the people of Northamptonshire, greater equality of access to services for people living locally, and enhanced career, training, learning and development opportunities for hospital staff.

In addition, patients and clinicians will have greater access to clinical trials and cutting-edge treatments.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: “The University of Leicester has a long history of working with hospitals in Kettering and Northampton. This enhanced partnership is key to strengthening our relationship and delivering excellent outcomes for members of the community as well as our staff and students.

“The training of future generations of doctors and nurses, as well as other health professionals, is vital for our future and offering them increased opportunities for clinical practice ensures we give our medical professionals the best possible start to their careers.  We have a shared vision with the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire for bringing our expertise to bear in order to deliver excellent health outcomes and I am confident that this partnership will go from strength to strength.”

Group Chief Executive Simon Weldon said: “This is a very exciting new chapter for health and care provision in Northamptonshire, enabling us to create a sustainable future for both Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals.

“Our first ambition as a partnership was always to become a University Hospital Group, because we recognise the major benefits it will bring to our patients, our staff and our hospitals. It is a perfect example of something we would never have been able to achieve alone, and it is testament to the drive, determination and collaborative spirit of colleagues from both Trusts that we have been able to secure university hospital status in time for the launch of our new hospital group.

“We know that we have improvements to make in both our organisations - and we have a way to go yet - but this is a major milestone which marks the start of our collaborative journey to deliver better quality of care for the people of Northamptonshire. We are really excited about working together to broaden access to services and improve the care we provide. We also welcome the ability to become a more attractive employer, both for those working with us, and to those considering a career with us.”

In a joint statement, Medical Directors Dr Matt Metcalfe (Northampton) and Dr Rabia Imtiaz (Kettering), said: “Becoming a new University Hospital Group means we can share our resources where appropriate, and create bigger and stronger teams to cope more effectively with the rising demands for hospital care. In many clinical areas, size does matter. You need sufficient resources to provide each service safely and effectively, and to secure these resources you need to ensure your clinicians are seeing enough patient cases.

“University hospital status will be highly advantageous in many ways. Our patients and clinicians will have greater access to clinical trials and cutting-edge treatments, we will be able to nurture and grow future clinical leaders right here within Northamptonshire, and we will become far more attractive as an employer which will serve to attract and retain the best possible talent. All these factors - and more - mean that local people can expect better quality of care and outcomes from their hospitals, as has been demonstrated by other NHS University Trusts.”