All of the organisations involved in Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services have welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that funding is available for the programme as part of the Health Infrastructure Plan.
All NHS trusts who received seed funding to develop a business case for new hospital projects as part of phase two of the HIP programme, including Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will be fully funded to deliver these by 2030.
Dr Matt Nisbet, a local GP and a clinical lead at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of CCGs, is working on the Hampshire Together programme. He said: “We are delighted that the Prime Minister has confirmed that the Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services programme, which includes the opportunity to build a state-of-the-art hospital to serve the people of mid and north Hampshire, is among the 40 projects included in the Health Infrastructure Plan.
“Over the last year, we have been working hard to make the most of the amazing opportunity that the HIP programme presents for healthcare across mid and north Hampshire – and we are especially pleased to note that Hampshire Together has been earmarked as among the first group of HIP2 projects due for completion.
“This is great news for everyone who lives in the area – from Alton to Andover, Winchester to Whitchurch and everywhere in between. This firm commitment from the government paves the way for a step change in the way health care is provided both in and out of hospital across mid and north Hampshire. Such a significant investment will produce significant improvements in health outcomes and peoples’ experience of using our services as well as a reduction in health inequalities.
“In any reorganisation, there will always be people who might have to travel slightly further to access very specialised services. We think this is a price worth paying in order to help everybody live healthier lives and to enable us to provide a range of high-quality services closer to peoples’ homes than is currently possible.”
The published list states that money is available to build a new hospital at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and carry out a major refurbishment at Royal Hampshire County Hospital. It is important to note that this is not binding and that neither the location of any new facility, nor the make-up of services provided there, will be decided ahead of a period of formal public consultation, due to take place early next year.
The Government has also announced that new standards will be developed over the coming months to help standardise the design of new hospitals and make use of modular construction methods to speed up the building of them.