Proposals to invest up to £900 million across hospitals in Hampshire would significantly improve the safety and quality of care for people in an emergency, leading medics claim.

The proposals – which are open to public consultation until 17 March – would see a brand new specialist acute hospital developed on the current Basingstoke hospital site, or near to Junction 7 of the M3. They would also see significant investment at Winchester hospital, which would focus on planned operations and procedures, while retaining 24/7 urgent treatment, same day emergency care services, and midwife led maternity services.

The new hospital would see and treat people suffering from strokes, heart attacks, life and limb threatening illnesses and injuries, and bring a separate children’s emergency department to Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for the first time, as well a critical care unit for adults and neonatal unit for babies.

As well as emergency care, it would also provide services for those who need highly specialist treatment, more complex planned care, or operations where patients might require critical care afterwards.

Dr Lara Alloway, Chief Medical Officer for the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: “Some services, like those for heart attacks, strokes, and major accidents, are already only provided from one of our hospitals. Bringing all our specialist and emergency services together onto one site would enable us to provide better and safer care.

“A maternity unit led by specialist doctors (obstetricians) would be able to have consultants on site for more hours than either Basingstoke or Winchester hospital currently does.

“Bringing both hospitals’ existing neonatal units together onto one site would mean the unit would see a high enough number of babies each year to look after those with more serious health problems than either hospital can currently. At the moment, 100 babies a year have to go to other hospitals for treatment. Under the proposals, they could be looked after closer to their homes and families.”

New ‘one stop’ outpatient clinics – which combine three or four traditional outpatient appointments, including tests and scans, into one visit – plus a brand new cancer treatment centre providing a comprehensive range of treatment, therapies, advice, and information, would also be located at the new hospital.

Dr Alloway continued: “It’s important to remember that urgent treatment centres, led by doctors, at both the new hospital and Winchester hospital would see and treat around 60 per cent of people who currently attend the emergency departments. Only the sickest patients, with the most serious conditions, would need to go to the new hospital’s emergency department, most often taken by ambulance.

“Since we launched our consultation in late 2023, we have spoken to hundreds of people and we are hearing a range of different views, opinions, and questions. We really welcome the chance to discuss our proposals with local people, and we are listening closely to what they tell us.”

Dr Nick Ward, Interim Chief Medical Officer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We know we can’t keep our services organised the way that they currently are.

“We don’t have a dedicated children’s emergency department because of a lack of staff and space. Good practice standards for maternity services say there should ideally be a consultant onsite for 98 hours a week, with a minimum of 60 hours. We can only currently provide the minimum of 60 hours a week at each of our two sites.

“Our current neonatal units do not see enough babies for staff to maintain their specialist skills, and we don’t have enough specialist neonatal doctors, especially at weekends. In critical care, we only have enough doctors with advanced airway skills to provide dedicated on site cover 12 hours a day, rather than the 24 recommended in national guidelines.

“Our population is growing and getting older, meaning people’s health and care needs are changing. Some of our buildings are approaching the end of their usable lives and would cost many millions to keep functioning as they are over the coming years.

“Perhaps most importantly, we know that we have a shortage of staff, nationally, across the NHS in key areas, including maternity services, neonatal care and critical care.

“We believe that our proposals give us the best possible chance of addressing these challenges for the future.

“While we know that some people may have to travel further for emergency and specialist care – as well as planned care – in the future; our clinicians believe that this 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.”

“And, by separating lower-risk planned surgery from emergency care, those planned operations are less likely to get cancelled at short notice due to emergency cases having to take priority.

“Our proposals don’t affect every hospital service by any means. In fact, most day-to-day hospital visits and appointments will continue to be provided as close to people’s homes as possible.”

“The consultation is ongoing – we continue to meet with local people at listening events, in person and online, and at stalls and stands around the county.

“Hearing their views and experiences of our services, and how our proposals could be improved, is really important to us. Please do take the chance to get involved before the consultation closes on 17 March.”

Get involved and have your say

We’d like to hear what people think of these proposals and are running a public consultation. To find out more, attend an event, or complete our questionnaire, visit The consultation is open until midnight on 17 March 2024.

This is your NHS, please take this opportunity to help shape your local hospital services.