Category: Northampton & Earls Barton

Northampton General Hospital Reinstates Home Birth Service

The home birth service, provided by the midwifery team at Northampton General Hospital, will be reinstated from 22nd May after a temporary suspension due to Covid-19.

The popular service provides home birth care and support for women in Northampton. The team will gradually reinstate the home birth service, starting with women who have previously had a baby and who were already booked to have a home birth. It’s anticipated that the full service will resume for all women in the summer.

Women who have already booked for a home birth who want to speak to a home birth team midwife should contact the Barratt Birth Centre 01604 545434. All pregnant women registered with NGH will continue to receive information and guidance on how to access services during Covid-19.

Earlier this year the service was suspended due to COVID-19 to ensure staff could support safe maternity care in the hospital. By suspending the service the team were able to continue to offer women midwifery-led care and continuity of carer, where possible, in the Barratt Birth Centre.

The decision to reinstate services comes following guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM). The service is being reinstated in accordance to the latest guidance and the hospital has tailored their service in line with national guidance to ensure safe care for families. This is being regularly reviewed and the team are also working in conjunction with the East Midlands Ambulance Service to ensure there is paramedic support available if required.



Christine’s COVID Recovery Sparks Pogo-Athon Fundraising

NORTHAMPTON GENERAL HOSPITAL NEWS: Christine’s COVID recovery sparks pogo-athon fundraising.

A 71 year old grandmother of six has inspired family fundraising in honour of the hospital that saved her life after she contracted COVID-19.

Christine and John Leggett

Christine and John Leggett

Christine Leggett first noticed symptoms of the virus when she began to feel achy and lethargic. As her breathing was not affected she was advised to stay at home to recover from her symptoms. However a decline in her condition and difficulty breathing in the days after first noticing symptoms meant that Christine needed to be bought to hospital to have treatment.

Freddie Minnie and Summer

Freddie Minnie and Summer

Christine described arriving at the hospital “The ambulance arrived and the paramedics said I had a temperature and low oxygen and needed to be admitted. When we arrived I was taken through to a large room that looked like something out of a sci-fi movie. Everyone dressed in all the protective clothing and plastic sheeting separated different areas. A chest x-ray was taken and I was told that I had pneumonia on both lungs and it was highly likely that it was coronavirus. After a few more tests I was taken to a ward and put on oxygen”.

Freddie, Minnie and Summer

Freddie, Minnie and Summer

In the following days, despite treatment, her condition worsened and she needed to be taken to the intensive care unit for ventilation to help her to breathe and then oxygen therapy. She spent 4 days in intensive care before being discharged back to a ward. Two weeks after being admitted to hospital and only a week after leaving intensive care, Christine was able to return home to her loved ones to continue her recovery.


She explained “When I first came home I felt tired and didn’t have a lot of energy, but after a couple of days I started walking a few laps round the garden, increasing the distance every day. I feel absolutely fine now and everyone says how well I look.


“The care that I received while in hospital was amazing. Everyone was treated with such kindness and I know they saved my life. No one should be worried about going into hospital”.


And now to thank the hospital her son Jonny, daughter-in-law Hayley and three of her grandchildren took on their own unique fundraising challenge to say thank you to the NHS.

Jonny explained how the idea of fundraising came about “Hayley had taken the lead role in calling the hospital twice a day for updates on mum, so she had first-hand experience of how well mum was being looked after. Captain Tom Moore had given us so much inspiration of what could be achieved in the back garden so we decided to do a 2.6km pogo-athon!


“Freddie, Summer and Minnie all took turns doing the 8.5m width of the garden on the pogo stick. We completed the challenge in just over two days on one of the hottest weekends. By the end of it they had blisters and bruising but they wanted to keep going for their nanny and the NHS. To date they have raised over £1,300.


“NGH saved my mum’s life. No if’s or but’s.

We are eternally grateful”.

Plans to Create Two New Councils Undergo Major Redesign

Plans to create two new councils undergo major redesign as Covid crisis continues.

With tackling the Coronavirus everyone’s top priority, plans for creating two new councils in Northamptonshire will be scaled down, with a new approach called ‘Safe and Legal Plus’.

New legislation that came into effect on 8 May, as expected confirms the new North and West Northamptonshire Councils will start on 1 April 2021.  This follows the postponement of this spring’s scheduled unitary elections due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The North and West Shadow Councils’ Executives at their first meetings in late June will be considering proposals to prioritise work to ensure all services are set up safely and legally for day one of the two new authorities, whilst still working hard to bring together and improve as many existing services as possible.

Preparations will continue towards setting up the new countywide Children’s Trust by 1 April next year, with the timescale dependent on the ongoing pandemic response.

The priorities of the proposed revised Safe and Legal Plus programme include:

  • Ensuring all services for the new councils are ready to go next April so residents continue to access services as they usually would.
  • Setting up the new North and West shadow authorities, which are made up of the existing district, borough and county councillors. They will meet in June and replace the West and North Northants Joint Committees.
  • Ensuring budgets are set for each new council, and developing plans for equalising Council Tax rates across each unitary area.
  • Bringing together the existing district and borough services into the new North and West unitary councils and splitting county council services across the two areas.
  • Even better joint working in Adults Services and Health and Social Care, with improved ways of working to improve services for residents and deliver significant savings.

Cllr Russell Roberts, Leader of the new North Northamptonshire Shadow Authority said: “Our councils and services are facing unprecedented challenges in responding to the Covid pandemic and the health and welfare of our residents is at the forefront of everything we are doing.

“We’re working on the assumption that safe and legal is deliverable by 1 April 2021 but due to the uncertainty that exists at the moment, we will continually review what is possible to achieve and by when as we move through the next few months.

“We’ve had to re-think our ambitions as to what we can achieve by Go Live Day, but while the focus is on Safe and Legal we’ll be doing what we can between now and April.”

Councillor Ian McCord, Leader of the new West Northamptonshire Shadow Authority, said: “Providing essential public services to residents and businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic has rightly been our top priority, with work on the new councils put on the back burner.  As a result, we’ve had to scale back how much we can do before launch of the two new councils next April.

“We’ll certainly have each new council up and running on time, but will complete much of the behind-the-scenes work of integrating staff from the previous councils later on.  What’s most important is that residents relying on public services continue to see them run smoothly.”

To view the vision document, ‘Prospectus for Change – the next chapter’ and to find out more about the new Safe and Legal Plus approach for the unitary preparations visit and



What is Exercising with Fatigue?

We often associate exercise with boot camp and gyms however, if you are suffering with health condition that seems like the worst scenario you could find yourself in. Even though there are staff to help in gyms they often are not trained or have experienced the medical condition and therefore have limited empathy as to what the person is going through. The one symptom that we have come across often is fatigue and lack of energy levels. Kamaljit Saggu Nene Local

This can be associated with many health conditions such as fibryomygia, EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome), ME and recovering from cancer. The conditions are endless. So how do we manage these symptoms with exercise?

• The first point that needs to be considered is to listen to your body. Start slow and build gradually. Even if it is a few minutes at a time, small steps at a time.

• Don’t overdo the exercise. This a common misconception that the harder and longer I work the better it will be. Overdoing it with fatigue has far more knock on effect in your daily life than someone without the symptoms.

• Allow plenty of breaks during exercise to allow your body to recover between each exercise. Recovery is important so you can carry out the exercise to your full potential once your muscles have rested, thus exercising more effectively. This is another issue we come across as clients just want to get through the exercise quickly and not listen to what their body is saying.

• Your daily activities always come first such as washing and dressing. The reason being, imagine you have only one glass of energy to use all day. You don’t want to use the whole glass in one activity such as exercise and have nothing left for the rest of your day. If you have any energy left, then exercise.

• Don’t give up on exercise. As with anyone, the more you train your body, the more it will adjust and you can get a new baseline on your exercise level. A positive mindset and patience is needed here – you will get there.

Kamaljit Saggu

Kamaljit Saggu

A little bit about 1st Step Rehab Fitness and Support

1st Step Rehab Fitness and Support was founded two years ago to help people with long term health conditions through the power of exercise. Having worked in the NHS for 10 years prior to this as a rehabilitation assistant in MK A&E Kamaljit Saggu saw first had how each condition could be improved by movement and exercise in the correct way. If you found this article useful and would like to know more please contact 1st Step Rehab Fitness and Support on 07846597460 or check out the website on for more information. 1st Step Rehab Fitness and Support are currently running our service fully online for low impact and chair based exercise class and 121 training.