People in Hampshire will benefit from between £700 and £900 million which will be invested in hospital services provided from Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s two acute main hospitals.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s inclusion in the government’s national New Hospital Programme gives us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve our hospital facilities and hospital services for decades to come. The funding was announced in May 2023.

We want to know what people think about the plans we have put forward to build a new hospital on the current Basingstoke hospital site or near Junction 7 of the M3, invest in Winchester hospital, and our proposals for where services are provided from in the future.

The money will help transform the care and treatment patients receive. We are taking this opportunity to make sure our hospital services can meet the changing needs of our growing and ageing population, attract, and retain the best staff, provide better and more consistent care, help people stay healthy for longer, and – crucially – provide safe, sustainable, high-quality services for the future.

We want to do this by creating two excellent acute hospitals; with significant investment in refurbishing the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester (Winchester hospital), and by building a brand-new specialist acute hospital on either the existing Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital (Basingstoke hospital) site, or at a new location near Junction 7 of the M3.

To make the best use of the investment, the NHS is proposing to make some changes to the way we provide care and treatment across our hospitals. The proposals which have been designed by clinicians, with patients, the public and staff, are based on clinical evidence and best practice, and the need to deliver safe, high-quality services, sustainable for the future with sufficient specialist staff to run services well.

Our proposals would see a brand-new hospital on the current Basingstoke hospital site or near Junction 7 of the M3 for specialist and emergency care, such as strokes, heart attacks, trauma (treating life and limb threatening injuries), emergency surgery, obstetrician-led (specialist doctor) maternity care and a separate children’s emergency department. They would also see significant investment in the Winchester hospital which would focus on planned operations and procedures, and provide a 24/7 doctor-led urgent treatment centre that would see and treat around 60% of the patients who currently go to Winchester A&E, same day emergency care services, doctor-led inpatient beds for care of the elderly and general medicine, and a midwife-led maternity services and birthing unit
 

Both main hospitals would continue to deliver day-to-day hospital services such as outpatients, diagnostics, and therapy services and see substantial investment under all the proposed options.

Yes. This approach has been developed by our clinical teams with patients and the public and with our staff. We have asked many local people, patients and our staff what is important to them in terms of the way health services could be organised and delivered in the future. We are confident the proposals will help us provide higher quality care more consistently, make the best use of our specialist staff and equipment, deliver more sustainable services, and speed up how quickly people can access the care they need.

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The options cover the potential location of the new hospital and proposals for the services that each hospital could provide in the future.

Option 1 proposes a new hospital on the current Basingstoke hospital site, while Options 2 and 3 propose a new hospital near to Junction 7 of the M3.

Under Options 2 and 3, specialist acute hospital services would be delivered from the new hospital, while day-to-day hospital services such as outpatients, diagnostics, and therapy services, would still be delivered from the current Basingstoke hospital site, as well as from the new hospital, and Winchester hospital.

In all three options, Winchester hospital would continue to provide 24/7 urgent treatment, ‘same day emergency care’ and midwife led maternity services.

The difference between Option 2 and Option 3 is that, in Option 3, there would be some ‘step down’ beds at the current Basingstoke hospital site, in addition to those at Winchester hospital.

These would be nurse-led beds for re-ablement and rehabilitation after people have been treated at either Winchester hospital or the new specialist acute hospital near junction 7 of the M3. They are for those who still require care, and are medically suitable for nurse-led care, but who do not need to be in an acute hospital bed. They would mean people could receive care closer to home, while also freeing up acute hospital beds for those who need specialist care.

We believe that, while all three options are viable and implementable, Option 2 has significant advantages, and fewer disadvantages than the other two options. Under Option 1 it would be much more complicated and expensive to build a new hospital on the current Basingstoke site, rather than at a new location. Option 1 would also have a higher risk of more people going to other hospitals outside our area putting additional pressure on those hospitals.

Option 3 includes some nurse-led stepdown rehabilitation and reablement beds at the current Basingstoke hospital site for patients medically suitable for nurse-led care. While these beds would mean some patients could recover closer to home, which we know is important to people, it would mean we would need more nursing staff, or would have to split our current nursing staff across an additional site, which is more challenging to deliver.

We can provide services safely now, but need to make changes so they are sustainable for the future.

Keeping things as they are is not a realistic option. Without changing how we organise care we would not be able to meet the needs of our changing population, provide services that are in line with evidence-based best practice standards and staffing guidelines, provide care in suitable buildings or run our hospitals within the budget we have.

Organising care in different ways in the future and taking the opportunity of government funding to invest in our buildings would allow us to continue to provide safe and excellent care for patients, and to offer staff a fulfilling place to work

These proposals make best use of the investment we have been given and will improve hospital care for people in this part of Hampshire.

There are compelling reasons that mean we need to make changes, not just to buildings but also in how care is organised and delivered. For example:

  • there isn’t a dedicated children’s emergency department because of a lack of staff and space – this means children currently have to wait and be cared for close to adult patients in A&E
  • While we currently provide the minimum 60 hours of consultant cover in maternity services across our two sites each week, if we brought the obstetrician-led aspect of our maternity services together on one site we would be able to meet the best practice standard of 98 hours of cover each week.
  • We don’t have enough dedicated specialist neonatal doctors available for our rotas, especially at weekends​. In addition, not enough premature or sick babies are born to be seen or treated at either hospital for staff to maintain the specialist skills needed for a Level 2 neonatal unit. This means around 100 very sick or premature babies who need care greater care than a Level 1 plus unit can provide would need to be transferred to hospitals further away each year to get the care they need unless changes are made
  • In critical care (ITU or ICU) we only have enough doctors with advanced airway skills to provide dedicated on-site cover 12 hours a day, rather than 24 hours a day as recommended by national guidelines
  • planned operations are often postponed at short notice because beds, operating theatres, and staff are needed to deal with emergency admissions. Increasingly best practice is to separate planned and emergency care.

The issues outlined above would be addressed in all three options meaning in future patients would benefit from much-improved services.

For the first time, children would benefit from a dedicated children’s emergency department – they would not have to wait or be cared for close to adult patients

Pregnant women and people and their babies would receive more consistently higher quality care – because we would have more on-site consultant obstetrician cover for those who need it

100 very sick or premature babies each year that that would be transferred to hospitals further away for Level 2 neonatal care would get the care they need locally with the conditions to support a level 2 neonatal unit, and with more specialist neonatal doctors available, especially at weekends

People who are critically ill who need doctors with advanced airway skills (for example emergency intubation) would benefit from having dedicated on-site cover 24 hours a day, which we are currently unable to provide

People waiting for planned operations would be less likely to have their procedures postponed – because we would separate emergency care from planned operations.

The 24/7 doctor-led urgent treatment centres at both main hospitals would see and treat around 60% of people who currently go to A&E.

Experienced clinical teams would treat suspected broken bones, serious but not life-threatening emergencies and injuries, cuts, stomach pains, rashes, high temperatures in children and adults, and urgent mental health concerns. The centres would provide urgent medical help dealing with many of the common problems people already go to our A&Es with.

Both our main hospital sites would also continue to provide Same Day Emergency Care services. Under same day emergency care, patients with relevant conditions, who would otherwise be admitted to hospital can be rapidly assessed, diagnosed, and treated without being admitted to a ward, and if clinically safe to do so, will go home the same day their care is provided

The proposed emergency department with trauma unit at the specialist acute hospital would see patients, most often brought in by ambulance, with life and limb-threatening injuries and conditions.

For many years now, some services have been provided from only one of our hospitals – including trauma, stroke, and specialist treatment for serious heart attacks, and we have seen the benefits to patients of doing this.

Under all options people would still be able to access doctor-led urgent care 24 hours a day, seven days a week at both our main hospitals.

Our proposals would also mean that people could access day-to-day hospital services such as outpatients, diagnostics, and therapies at both main hospital sites under Option 1 and at three sites (Basingstoke, Winchester and near to Junction 7 of the M3) under Options 2 and 3.

People would access most day-to-day hospital based services where they do now, or closer to home.

Many of the most time-critical services such as for trauma, heart attacks and strokes are already only provided from a single hospital site in our part of Hampshire (at either Basingstoke or Winchester), and travel times for these services would stay the same or only increase by a few minutes.

Our clinicians believe that where there are longer journey times, these would be more than offset by shorter waits to see a senior doctor and for diagnostics on arrival at hospital, more consistent high-quality care, improved outcomes, shorter hospital stays, and services that are sustainable for the long term.

Ambulances would continue to take people to the closest place that can safely meet their needs.

Our proposals would also provide some services that are not currently provided locally, for example a dedicated children’s emergency department.

The proposals are about planning for the future, so none of these changes would happen overnight and would take some years to implement. We expect to open the doors to the new hospital early in the 2030s.

There are lots of ways you can find out about the proposals, get involved and have your say, including by attending online and in person listening events, inviting NHS colleagues to speak at community groups, or by completing a questionnaire.

For more details about how to get involved, and to find the online questionnaire, visit www.hampshiretogether.nhs.uk or call 0300 561 0905. Please call us if you don’t have online access and need us to send information or a questionnaire to you. The consultation is open until midnight on Sunday 17 March 2024.

After the consultation closes on 17 March 2024, all the feedback we have received will be analysed by an independent research organisation. They will prepare a report for us setting out what people think about the proposals.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (the NHS body responsible for planning and buying health services for the population), together with NHS England in relation to specialised services, will consider the feedback from the consultation, along with a wide range of other evidence, information and data to develop a decision-making business case and use that to decide which option to implement.

We will continue to share information with staff, patients, local people, and wider stakeholders, including publishing the consultation report and papers that will inform the decision-making.

Our final decision-making meeting will be held in public to allow those who are interested to hear the discussion and how the decision is made. We will publish the details of this meeting when they are available.

Once a decision has been made on the future of acute hospital services in Hampshire, detailed implementation planning will begin. Subject to planning permission, we expect to be able to open the doors to our new hospital in the early 2030s.

As we move into the implementation phase we will regularly involve and engage patients, staff and local people to ensure their views continue to inform our work.