As part of the ongoing NHS public consultation about how up to £900 million should be invested in hospital services across north and mid Hampshire, NHS leaders are encouraging people to have their say on a range of topics, including the location of a brand new hospital.
There are two possible locations for the proposed new hospital, which would provide specialist and emergency care, such as for strokes, heart attacks, life and limb threatening injuries, emergency surgery, as well as obstetrician-led maternity care, and have a separate children’s emergency department.
The new hospital would accompany significant investment in Winchester hospital which would focus on planned operations and procedures, and provide a 24/7 doctor-led urgent treatment centre, same day emergency care services, midwife-led birthing unit, and step up and step down beds for people who do not need a specialist hospital environment but who need medical or nursing support overnight.
Explaining the options for the location of the new hospital, Dr Lara Alloway, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: “There would be significant advantages, for patients and communities, of us bringing specialist and planned services together, irrespective of where the new hospital is located.
“We would be able to provide higher quality, safer care more consistently, in new and refurbished facilities, while reducing waiting lists and still providing outpatient appointments and day-to-day services at our current locations.”
Shirlene Oh, Chief Strategy and Population Health Officer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “New and refurbished buildings will help us provide modern healthcare, make better use of new technology and reduce our environmental impact. We recognise that these proposals would impact on local people and we’re keen to hear what people think of them, including around the possible location of their new hospital.”
The NHS in Hampshire is currently consulting on three different options:
- Option 1 proposes a new specialist acute hospital on the current Basingstoke hospital site.
- Options 2 and 3 propose the new hospital near to Junction 7 of the M3.
In all three options, emergency care, urgent treatment, and specialist acute hospital services would be delivered from the new hospital. Winchester hospital would have a 24/7 doctor-led urgent treatment centre, a same day emergency care service, dedicated planned surgery centre, inpatient beds, and midwife led maternity services.
Day-to-day hospital services such as outpatients, diagnostics, and therapy services, would be delivered from the new hospital and Winchester hospital, as well as the Basingstoke hospital site in options 2 and 3.
In option 3, step-up and step-down hospital beds would also be created at the current Basingstoke hospital site (as well as those proposed for Winchester in all the options).
Shirlene Oh continued: “Our preferred option, along with medical and nursing leaders across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, is option 2.
“This is because a new hospital would be easier to build near to Junction 7 of the M3 and it would place specialist and emergency care more centrally between Basingstoke and Winchester, without requiring the nursing workforce to be split across an additional site, unlike option 3.
“Obviously in option 1, we would not need to purchase new land and there are established transport links to the site, however it’d be much more complicated, not to mention more expensive, than building on a new site. Importantly, it would also cause sustained disruption to our current hospital services.
“Building on the new site would allow us to continue running services on the current Basingstoke site throughout the construction period.
“It would have less impact on travel times by car, because the new hospital would be more centrally located between Basingstoke and Winchester. There are also greater opportunities to expand in the future, than building on the current site.
“The wealth of evidence around bringing services together on one site tells us that even when people travel further to reach specialist care, they get faster access to the right professionals and have better outcomes thanks to more of the right staff and better facilities.
“And we know that separating planned care from emergency care would help to reduce waiting lists and the number of cancelled planned operations when emergency operations have to take priority.
“We realise that wherever the new hospital is built, it will have an impact on our patients, local people, communities, and our staff. We are encouraging as many people as possible to take part in the ongoing public consultation.”