17 November 2020

A new, state-of-the-art acute centralised hospital would create exciting opportunities for the whole area – that’s the view of the experts working on the Hampshire Together programme.

The Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospital and Health Services programme was set up in response to the government’s Health Infrastructure Plan, which named north and mid Hampshire as one of the areas to benefit from funding to build 40 new facilities before 2030.

It includes the potential for the construction of a brand new hospital, with health and care partners working together to develop a health, wellbeing and care services that provides everyone in north and mid Hampshire with access to high-quality, timely and sustainable health care as close to home as possible.

Dr James Kerr and Natasha Kerrigan are heavily involved in the programme – and both of them are hugely excited by the opportunities it creates.

James works in the emergency departments at both Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals and has also been appointed as an associate medical director for Hampshire Together.

He said: “This is a really exciting programme, and I’m very proud to be part of it. The opportunities around building a new centralised hospital and what this means for our patients are incredible.

“For patients, the benefit of a new hospital and a more joined up healthcare system would include shorter waiting times, better communication with healthcare providers, care closer to home, and improved transport links for those who do need to come into hospital. The new hospital would be modern, easy to navigate and have other healthcare services on site for those who need it, including mental health support.”

As the programme director, Natasha is the person responsible for ensuring that the programme delivers for patients, staff and the local community.

She said: “This could be the largest investment in healthcare across north and mid Hampshire to take place in at least a generation – and the opportunities that come with this are really exciting!

“It’s a chance to enhance our local NHS services for decades to come, complementing existing services and allowing us to embrace new ideas and innovations – all with our patients at the heart of our thinking.

“A new acute centralised hospital would be a beacon for the whole north and mid Hampshire area, not only providing outstanding and joined up healthcare, but also creating jobs, improving transport links and supporting local businesses. We also have plans to be carbon neutral, which means cleaner air for everyone.

“On top of that, it is chance to give back and say thank you to NHS staff across the area for all the incredible work they do. With that in mind, as well as making sure our staff have the tools and support they need to provide outstanding care for every patient, we want to ensure a focus on wellbeing, with more outdoor and green spaces for staff to relax in on their well-earned breaks.

Before joining the Hampshire Together programme, Natasha led the creation and delivery of the Nightingale hospitals as part of the response to COVID-19, creating structures to house more than 12,000 beds during the first national lockdown.

“The NHS has learnt a lot during the period of COVID-19 regarding the need for flexible and adaptable estate and infrastructure,” she added. “Embracing methods of construction that allow our healthcare models to flex and change will be something that will be key to our thinking as we take the programme forward.    

“Also, some of learning from my previous role has shown me that anything is possible when the hearts and minds of an organisation work together to reach the same outcome. For the Hampshire Together programme, that is to deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right time for generations to come.”