Proposals on changes to hospital services across parts of Hampshire could see waiting times reduced and better care for people who need planned operations and procedures, according to NHS doctors.


The options for how to organise services across Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are currently out for public consultation until 17 March. Under each of the options being proposed, a new dedicated planned surgery centre would be developed at Winchester hospital, able to care for and treat people needing lower risk planned operations and procedures.


Winchester hospital – which would receive between £89 million and £141 million of investment under the proposals – would also have a new doctor-led 24/7 urgent treatment centre, same day emergency care services, inpatient beds, and a midwife-led birthing unit.


Dr Nick Ward, Interim Chief Medical Officer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “At the moment, both Winchester hospital and Basingstoke hospital carry out emergency operations and those that are planned in advance.


“Unfortunately, this means that people having lower risk, more routine, planned surgery can find that their operations are postponed at very short notice, because beds, operating theatres, and staff are needed to care for patients needing emergency care. Sometimes this can be on the day of the operation itself, once patients have already arrived at the hospital, and made all the arrangements in their work and personal lives to be there. It goes without saying that this isn’t the experience we want for any of our patients, for their carers or for their families.


“Separating emergency and planned surgery as far as possible by establishing a separate planned surgery centre, with dedicated surgical staff for lower risk planned surgery, would mean we can work so much more efficiently and effectively, and provide a better experience for patients. It would enable us to make the best use of our operating theatre time and other resources, and help to shorten waiting lists as a result, as well as cut the number of operations that are postponed at short notice.”


As elsewhere in the NHS, waiting lists for planned operations are growing following the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2019, there was just one person waiting more than a year for an operation at the Trust; by September 2023, this had grown to over 3,600 patients.


Dr Lara Alloway, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: “Separating emergency and planned surgery has the potential to improve the outcomes and experiences of patients in our hospitals, reduce cancellations, and – because it is a more efficient way of working – means that people won’t have to spend as long in hospital.


“It’s also a better model for training the next generation of surgeons, as they can focus specifically on emergency or planned procedures.


“We believe these proposals will mean that people will have better access to planned care regardless of where they live in Hampshire.”


“That could mean through improved ‘one stop’ outpatient clinics, where people can have appointments, tests, and scans, as conveniently as possible, or through us being able to provide care and advice before and after surgery either online or over the phone, if that’s the right thing for the patient, instead of them having to travel.


“Moreover, we’re aiming to carry out more procedures as ‘day cases’ in the future, where it’s the best option for the patient. This would mean that people can go home the same day, giving them a much better experience of coming to hospital, as well as helping our medical, nursing, and other teams to provide care as efficiently as possible.”


It is estimated that about 80 per cent of planned operations could be undertaken at Winchester hospital, with the more complex 20 per cent being carried out at the new specialist acute hospital, where they would have access to critical care facilities if needed.


The proposals in a nutshell


Patients, local people, and NHS staff are being encouraged to get involved in the public consultation and give their views on all the proposals, which include:  

  • building 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, life and limb threatening injuries, emergency surgery, obstetrician-led maternity care, and a separate children’s emergency department
  • significantly investing in 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, and a midwife-led birthing unit
  • continuing to provide day-to-day hospital services such as outpatients, diagnostics, and therapy services from both the current main hospital sites, and additionally at the site near to Junction 7 of the M3 if this is chosen as the location for the new hospital.  


Get involved and have your say


To find out more, attend an event, or complete the questionnaire, visit The consultation is open until midnight on 17 March 2024.