30 November 2023

The NHS in Hampshire has published details on proposals for a consultation into how between £700 million and £900 million would best be invested in hospital services across the county.

Announcing the proposals, Maggie MacIsaac, Chief Executive of NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: “This investment gives us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve hospital facilities and hospital services across Hampshire for decades to come.

"The money will help transform the care and treatment patients receive. The brand-new hospital at the Basingstoke hospital site or near junction 7 of the M3, and upgraded hospital buildings at Winchester, will enable our NHS to meet the changing needs of our growing and ageing population. It will help us to attract and retain the best staff, provide better and more consistent care, help people stay healthy for longer, and – crucially – provide safe, sustainable, high-quality services for the future.”

The proposals will be discussed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight NHS Integrated Care Board next week and, subject to approval, a widespread public consultation on how and where the money is invested will follow.

Alex Whitfield, Chief Executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are thrilled to be included in the government’s New Hospital Programme. These plans will create two excellent acute hospitals; with significant investment in refurbishing the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, and by building a brand-new specialist acute hospital.

“Our exciting plans for this investment will significantly improve people’s experience of our hospitals and help with staff recruitment and retention. They will give us more modern buildings, much improved digital technology, and the opportunity to develop a hub for healthcare innovation.”

It is proposed that the new hospital would either be built on the existing Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital site, or at a new location near Junction 7 of the M3.

We are proposing some changes to where some hospital services will be provided

To make the best use of the investment, the NHS is proposing to make some changes to the way care and treatment is provided across its hospitals. The proposals which have been designed by clinicians and with patients, are based on clinical evidence and best practice, and the need to deliver safe, high-quality services, sustainable for the future, with sufficient specialist staff to run services well.

The proposals would see a brand-new hospital for specialist and emergency care, such as strokes, heart attacks, trauma (treating life and limb threatening injuries), and children’s emergency care. It would also see significant investment in the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester which would focus on planned operations and procedures, while retaining 24/7 urgent treatment, same day emergency care services, and midwife led maternity services.

Dr Lara Alloway, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: "Under the proposals both hospitals would continue to provide access to urgent treatment and same day emergency care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, inpatient beds for general medicine and care of the elderly, and midwife-led births, as well as outpatient appointments and diagnostic tests. Both hospitals would see substantial investment under all the proposed options.”

Dr Nick Ward, Interim Chief Medical Officer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This approach has been developed by our clinical teams. Together we are confident it will help us provide higher quality care more consistently, make the best use of our specialist staff and equipment, deliver more stable, sustainable services, and speed up how quickly people can access the care they need.”

Subject to the agreement of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, with support from the Trust Board at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a consultation will begin early in December on three options (set out below, see notes to editors) which have been developed with a range of partners including patient representatives. The options cover the potential location of the new hospital and proposals for the services that each hospital could provide in the future. None of these changes would happen overnight; the proposals are about planning for the future. The NHS expects to open the doors to the new hospital early in the 2030s.

Option 1 proposes a new specialist acute hospital on the current Basingstoke hospital site, while options 2 and 3 propose a new hospital near to Junction 7 of the M3.

If option 2 or 3 was chosen, specialist acute hospital services would be delivered from the new hospital, while day-to-day hospital services such as outpatients, diagnostics, and therapy services, would still be delivered from the current Basingstoke hospital site, as well as from the new hospital and Winchester hospital.

In all three options, Winchester hospital would continue to provide 24/7 urgent treatment, a same day emergency care service, and midwife led maternity services.

The preferred option, and that of medical and nursing leaders in 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).

Why we need to make changes

Dr Nick Ward added: “Maintaining the status quo is not an option. The simple truth is that, currently, we are not always able to provide the quality of care that we want to – some of our services are not organised to enable our hard-working staff to consistently deliver the very best care.

“These proposals make best use of the investment we have been given and would improve hospital care for everyone in Hampshire.”